As my boyfriend and I were eating dinner tonight, at 6pm, it was already completely dark outside. Not the dawning type, it was all-out night-black. That’s how you know winter is basically here – when you feel like rolling up on the sofa that early because the darkness outside doesn’t seem to allow you to do anything else.
When life slows down outside, we slow down with it. I tend to have a vey hard time with that, as I can not bear feeling lazy. Or tired. Or simply not moving as much as in summer – it’s something I really have trouble getting into my brain. But, I am more tired, more laid-back, slower, “lazier” in the darker months, as is everyone else, which is why I should probably just get a grip and accept it. But it’s oh so hard, don’t we all agree?
I always attempt to beat my impending winter blues by trying different methods, all of which don’t really help, but I keep trying nonetheless. I have tried peeling myself out of bed at 7am (also known as freezing-o’clock) and heaving my butt outside to go running or walking. While I am proud for the rest of they at having achieved such a feat even at the end of November, it really doesn’t lift my mood that much. I have also tried filling my evenings with cleaning, ironing, i.e. anything-besides-couching, but it doesn’t make me feel less lazy. I have tried making happiness-inducing food, and, well, it doesn’t always work, but sometimes the time I spend in the kitchen actually does cheer me up. If the end-result turns out the way I want it to, I am close to almost-happy. It’s the small things, guys. 🙂
As I ran out of my healthy cranberry granola, I was rolling around ideas for a new granola the past few days. The other night, at about nine pm, I started improvising with what I found. “Improvising” always sounds so scary, arbitrary, and accidental. Maybe I should call what I do in the kitchen “thought-out improvisation”, as I usually do have some idea about what I am doing.
The granola I came up with is a summery granola, but it didn’t keep me from revelling in the final version. I started out with oats, and, instead of adding date cream as a binder (as I did with my cranberry granola), I decided to make a sweetening binder out of dried apricots. The hint of sourness it adds to the granola goes great with coconut…so I added shredded coconut to the mix. To top it all off, I chopped up some dried mango and added chopped almonds, cinnamon and vanilla, and, voilá:
If you look real close, you can see the small yellow mango-specks!
Tropical Coconut Granola
- 300 rolled oats
- 3 Tbs. shredded coconuts
- 1 1/2 Tbs. chopped almonds
- 1 Tbs. vegan margarine (or 1 tsp. coconut oil)
- 3 Tbs. apricot sweetener (make like date sweetener)
- 60g dried mango, chopped)
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Preheat oven to 200°C. Spread out the sticky mixture on a baking tin lined with parchment.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until top has browned. Then, using a wooden spoon, break the granola into clusters and stir. Place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
4. Take out of the oven and allow to cool. Then fill into airtight jars.
This is great with some cold coconut milk (not cream), or sprinkled on top of some oatmeal. Get creative – you could even eat the larger clusters as snacks!