I eat a lot of granola. After close examination, I realized I have 7 opened bags going. My daughter jokes that the only thing we ever have in the house to eat is granola, nuts and beans - in that order. There is something that calls to me when I see a bag of granola on a shelf. It looks healthy and crunchy and tasty. I know it will have oats and hearty nuts and usually some dried fruit. When spooned into yogurt, granola will be the perfect crunchy balance to the cool, tangy vanilla yogurt that I love.
One of the granola's that I am addicted to is made right in St Paul. It is called Bliss made by Bliss Gourmet Foods Company in St Paul. You can get this granola at Golden Fig Fine Foods on Grand Avenue in St Paul. The owner of Golden Fig, Laurie Crowell, is an amazing resource for products made in St Paul and Minnesota. If it's delicious and made in the 651 area code you can usually find it at the Golden Fig.
My favorite Bliss Granola is Butterscotch Pecan. It is crunchy, chewy and sweet with a toasty hint of pecans, all in one mouthful. I think one of the reasons I love it so much is it is salty. I am crazy for any mouthful that can successfully give me a salty and sweet hit in one bite. The base of the granola is organic whole grain oats with coconut, olive oil, organic sunflower and sesame seeds, brown sugar, Minnesota maple syrup, butterscotch chips and sea salt - that's it. Other Bliss flavors to try are Chocolate Hazelnut and Cherry Almond both equally as good. A 16 oz bag of granola retails for $11.95.
If you feel like taking a stab at becoming your own granola entrepreneur, try this recipe - its really easy and makes a great a great little treat wrapped in a cellophane gift bag for co-workers, teachers or running buddies:
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus tablespoons real maple syrup
1/4-cup olive oil
1-teaspoon sea salt
1 cup dried cranberries or blueberries
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine real maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans.
Cook low and slow for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add dried cranberries s and mix until evenly distributed.