Several years ago, on a trip across Spain with DP and family, we consumed so much cured jamon, manchego and tempranillo that halfway through the vacation, our tongues became achy and raw. That didn't stop me. I just curled the inflamed tip down behind my bottom teeth and forced the rich, salty food and booze to the back of my maw where my taste buds were less traumatized.
My tongue has that same Spanish feeling lately. And (curses!) I can't blame it on a European vacation, the best (and most universally recognized) reason for overeating.
This time of year rolls around and I have such a hard time knowing when to say when. Actually, scratch that. I know when to say when, I just don't want to say when. Especially when it begins to get dark at 3 o'clock. I just want to get cozy on the couch with a glass of wine. So it starts there, somewhat innocently (Just a glass of wine!) But as Everyone's been telling us for years, drinking just dulls our judgement and lures us into eating. My personal gateway-drug is cheese (Wouldn't a nice aged Gouda be perfect with this Syrah?!)
Here is my continuing inner monologue:
What do you know! How fortuitous that this red anjou pear that's been ripening all week on my counter has reached its delicious and juicy prime! It's the perfect gouda accompaniment! And slurping a few of these salami slices will only balance my blood sugar with the added protein! Awesome! I wish I had an extra hand to carry all this to the couch in one trip!
About this time there is most certainly some variety of rationalization involving the season (Autumn!) including maybe a New-Age-y vernal equinox notion of turning inward and becoming more reflective as daylight contracts. What, I ask you, doesn't make one more self-reflective if not drinking alone? And then adding cheese and meat to that libation? See? These extra calories are only assissting me in leaning into the season, learning about my deep self, giving over to the encroaching vernal equinox for God's sake.
2.5 glasses of wine and a sore tonuge later, DP comes home and then we officially eat. I thereby proceed (damn you, dulled judgement!) to go toe-to-toe with him, consuming a man's portion that most likely includes some carbohydrate that we vowed 12 hours ago was dead to us.
This needs to stop.
I'm turning over a new leaf with healthy granola.
Ok, ok, I know it has tons of fat and calories what with the nuts and coconut, etc.. but it's time to turn inward! Vernal equinox!
Go with it.
And actually, if you eat it with probiotic-rich yogurt it's healthy, healthy, healthy! And don't those same people who tell us drinking leads to weak scruples also tell us eating a decent breakfast will pave the way for smart food choices all day?
Go with it.
Seriously, though, this granola recipe is one of my most favorite and trusty recipes. It's toasty and maple-y and nutty and cinnamon-y and it smells SO GOOD while it's cooking. It makes the most satisfying and yummy breakfast ever.
Or try it with a glass of Syrah. And maybe a nice aged Gouda.
makes about 7 cups
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup raw pecan pieces
2/3 cup raw sliced almonds
1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
3/4 t cinnamon
2 T canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 to 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit you'd rather)
Preheat oven to 275. In a large bowl, combine oats, pecans, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, coconut and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the oil, syrup and honey and warm until liquified and combined. Pour the warm mixture over the oats and nuts and mix thoroughly. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 60-75 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes or so, until the granola is a toasty golden brown. After it's cooled completely, add the cranberries and stir.