Miss Dahl’s tawny granola: a modest modification

I recently bought a cookbook from Sophie Dahl (granddaughter of Roald) that inspired me to make granola. This one from Good Habit has been my favorite lately, but it’s pricey.

Homemade granola with almond slivers, oats, balck sesame seeds, coconut flakes, honey, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Making your own granola is cheaper than buying it, and fresher because it hasn’t been sitting on a shelf. It also makes the whole house smell good.

Incidentally, I rarely buy cookbooks because (1) most aren’t designed to withstand the messes created during cooking, and (2) few have more than a handful of recipes that I want to try.

I still don’t know how many recipes I’ll try from Miss Dahl’s, but I did enjoy reading anecdotes from her days as a plus-size model. In her early 20s, she represented the “voluptuous” look and became its reluctant spokesperson. Needless to say, it messed with her body image but she somehow came through with a healthy attitude toward food.

To make granola, combine the dry ingredients in one bowl; the wet ingredients and spices in the other.

Make sure to evenly moisten all the dry ingredients as you stir them into the wet ones, or they could burn. Those scary-looking things are black sesame seeds.

Back to the granola: you’ll find the recipe on Le Quatre-Heures, along with some useful baking tips. What’s nice about making your own is that it’s easy, you can control the sweetness, it’s less expensive than buying it, and most any combination of ingredients will work.

For instance, I didn’t have the apple juice, pumpkin seeds, or allspice the recipe calls for. And why buy an entire carton of juice just to use 2 tablespoons? So I substituted water, black sesame seeds from the Asian supermarket (they taste like mild peanuts and are good for hair growth, according to my mom), and cardamom. I also left out the dried apricots. Really, you can use most kinds of seeds, nuts, fruits, and spices so long as you mind the proportions.

Next time I make this, I’m going to lower the temperature to 300 degrees. About 1/5 of my batch burned. The rest, though, was delicious and quickly consumed.


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