LA style – beautifully bronzed, bursting with health, and full of vital crunch, that is how I describe my favorite granola, one that captures for me an essence of iconic LA food. A simple little jewel for breakfast from the Bijouxs kitchen.
Growing up in Los Angeles, then open spaces and rows of orange groves, I was witness to the bursting health food scene. Because of that, I feel almost like a connoisseur of granola…well, not really, but I have sampled many bowls of this earthy cereal and have settled on one I can’t live without.
A simple, everyday kind of beauty surrounds the ritual of this bowl of oats, seeds, nuts, and fruit – add a splash of milk and breakfast is served. Although granola contains a laundry list of ingredients, the result is simple – that is, things taste like themselves and are pure in effect. This bowl reflects to me the California style of cooking, which is one of simple, fresh ingredients and not as much about technique.
This granola is about the ingredients and also a little bit about technique. The recipe is a hybrid from an out-of-print cookbook Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton At Home. Of course you may recognize both authors as stellar Los Angeles chefs. I had the pleasure of taking a bread class with Nancy many years ago in which she shared recipes and techniques from her famed La Brea Bakery. And if any of you have sampled delicious La Brea Bakery Granola, you may find this granola resembles that contained in those treasured bags of golden goodness.
Back to the ingredients. No, making this granola is not an inexpensive venture. However, by purchasing just what you require from a health store that sells ingredients in bulk, you can certainly find the enjoyment is worth the price. Like all little jewels, this recipe may be starting point for creating your own style of granola. I favor the classic list of ingredients, and for technique, if I can refer to the preparation as such, the dark, golden brown crunch is almost as important as the ingredients.
Baking the granola to a beautiful golden brown takes a watchful eye and perhaps a couple of adjustments of temperature. The goal is for a rich, golden brown color to develop with a baking time that is adequate to achieve a crisp, true crunch. I stay in the kitchen to monitor the baking.
The labor and cost are all rewarded with a beautiful bounty of granola, enough that I place small bags in the freezer, they will be there waiting when I desire a bowl of that golden brown crunch.
LA-style granola, a taste of home is always a little jewel.