G is for Granola


I’ll just start by saying that the adjective “granola” was a mystery to me. I had heard the words “crunchy” and “hippy” before, mostly to describe the Haight street dwellers (as well as Californians in general) but had never myself understood using granola to describe people. If you look up the definition of “granola” in the Urban Dictionary, you get the following humorously long-winded response:

“An adjective used to describe people who are environmentally aware (flower child, tree-hugger), open-minded, left-winged, socially aware and active, queer or queer-positive, anti-oppressive/discriminatory (racial, sexual, gender, class, age, etc.) with an organic and natural emphasis on living, who will usually refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons), as well as limit consumption of what he or she does consume, as granola people are usually concerned about wasting resources. Usually buy only fair-trade goods and refrain from buying from large corporations, as most exploit the environment as well as their workers, which goes against granola core values. This definition is sometimes confused with hippy.”

Oh my God, they just described most people I know. With the exception of the “animal and animal by-product” part, and since they also added the qualifier “usually,” (thanks for that, by the way, nobody’s perfect,) they also just described me!

I am [usually] granola!

Yes! And what better way to celebrate one’s granola-ness than a Granola Gathering in Golden Gate Park on Pride weekend in San Francisco. Boom.

You’ve heard of a wine “tasting” or a coffee “cupping.” Well, what we had was a granola “bowling.” Four bowls, four recipes*, four gals who like to gab.

*You’ll find links to all four recipes below, with comments describing each one, followed by some glorious photos.

1. Smitten Kitchen: Big Cluster Maple Granola (From the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman)

I have been making this recipe for months, and I cannot get enough. Her magic touch of an egg white creates chunky clusters if you let it cool completely. It's simple, yet the coconut and maple add a little pizzaz. The girls described it as a great “everyday” granola.

2. Iowa Girl Eats: Maple Almond Granola

Holy crap. This granola was hands down our favorite. The only thing I changed about this recipe was that I added a whipped egg white right before baking it, a là Deb Perelman. It worked like a charm. The girls decided this one “tasted like a bakery.” I think it was the vanilla and almond extract that gave it that flair. It tasted like heaven.

3. Emily Levenson: Peanut Butter + Honey Granola

I HAD to try a PB granola. And this one did not disappoint. I substituted flax seeds for the chia seeds, and the PB flavor was subtle and not overwhelming. Wendy said something like, “I don’t usually like peanut butter flavors, but this is delicious.”

4. Allrecipes: Ultimate Irresistible Granola

Molly brought this batch, and it was outright finger-lickin’ good. A chewier variation, it had all the elements of a classic, everyday granola: crunch, salt, and a little sweet. We all agreed we could eat this granola every day (and probably will.)

1Part1Granola 2GranolaMakingCollage 3Part2Granola 5GranolaCloseup 6Part3Granola 7Part3ParkPhoto 8Part4Granola

And so they don't kill me for ONLY including pictures of them eating:


So pretty. Oh! Don't forget the doggie bags! 10DoggieBagHey you! Do you have a favorite granola recipe? I'd love to try it!

Also: Check out the 2010 "G" post here. One of my favorites from the OG Alphabet Summer.