I have not always been much of a breakfast person. I mean, I appreciated it. On weekends I was happy to house a plate of diner home fries and eggs. I’d make scones or French toast occasionally. I’d eat some strawberries and pour myself a bowl of cereal. But in practice, especially during the week, I was more of a eat-an-energy-bar-at-the-office-without-thinking person. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But then I got this job at a website all about breakfast—you may have heard of it—and I realized I needed and wanted to step up my game. I liked the idea of being one of those people who had a ritual in the morning—a person who made themselves a little something, who had a moment of quiet before rushing out the door.
Starting with cereal seemed easy enough, at first. I’d pick up bags of fancy granola at the farmer’s market. (What can I say? “Fancy” is a big motivator for me.) I’d scoop some Greek yogurt into a bowl, sprinkle in some granola, add some blueberries, and top it with a swirl of honey. This was good and satisfying and healthy enough. I had my morning moment of quiet. I felt pretty proud. But I also felt suddenly, shockingly poorer. “Artisanal,” it turns out, can sometimes actually mean “extortionate.” A week or so into my new habit, I started looking at the ingredients list and thought, in the way all extremely good and extremely bad ideas start, “I could make that.”
So I did. One Monday evening, determined, I found some general guidelines on how to make granola, and mixed up my ingredients (they were already all in my pantry) shocked at just how easy it was. Then I shoved it in the oven for a bit while I watched Gilmore Girls and drank some tea. After about 20 minutes, my apartment smelled like toasted oats and cinnamon and nuts and I gave it a stir. Twenty minutes later, I pulled the granola out of the oven, mixed it up again, and then watched another episode of Gilmore Girls while I let it cool. Then, like any good Brooklynite, I dumped it into a mason jar for easy access the next morning. When I tried it on my yogurt the next day, being a breakfast person made even more sense.
I could say that making your own granola is worth it for its relative ease alone. I could also argue that how much money you’ll save is reason enough. And it goes without saying that it’s incredibly delicious. But the best reason to make homemade granola is that when you make it yourself, you’re making exactly what you want. Homemade granola is infinitely customizable. If you feel like making savory granola, by all means! If you want to add chocolate, please do. If you want your granola to actually be mostly dried blueberries, you do you!
In a world where there’s often so much out of our control, being able to make and eat something entirely, unyieldingly to your liking feels like a bit of a superpower. And being able to start your morning that way? Well, I can’t think of much else better.
Here’s my favorite way to make granola:
Preheat oven to 300*F.
Combine oats, pistachios, salt, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Add honey and olive oil and mix it all together well.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and dump in the granola mixture.
Stick it the oven for about 40 minutes, and stir once halfway through.
Let cool for about 30 minutes, then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks (though it’ll probably be gone long before that).