Ah, granola. There are sometimes I go months (even up to a year) not making any because I don’t always love it. I’ve discovered that my husband enjoys it more than I thought, so it’s in the rotation often now. I think I’ve finally figured out what kind I really like, though, after doing a search online for flavor inspirations.
I found a recipe on a new to me blog called Green Kitchen Stories for banana granola. It was perfect because I had a few very ripe bananas that I needed to use, so I just bought the other ingredients that I didn’t have at the food co-op. I made a double batch and also tweaked the recipe a little by not only adding rolled oats but also spelt, kasha, buckwheat, and quinoa flakes just for a little variety. I also added shredded unsweetened coconut, cashews, sunflower seeds, cardamom, and a mix of extra virgin olive oil with coconut oil. As for sweetener, I opted to use local raw honey.
I try to buy as much as I can from the bulk section (except for the cashews and honey), because it saves us money and I can use my own containers.
While the granola was baking in the oven, it smelled of banana bread so I was excited to try it after it cooled off. The banana flavor is subtle, but you can definitely taste it. It’s not as strong as banana bread would be, but overall it passed our taste test. It has a marvelous texture and the banana seemed to have helped with creating just enough clusters.
We went to the Sunday Tucson Farmers’ Market at St. Phillip’s Plaza, for the first time, and we were both pleasantly surprised with how many vendors there were and how well attended it seemed to be. It was already hot when we arrived at around 9 am, so we cooled off with some prickly pear lemonade with chia seeds. I actually didn’t need to buy that much produce because we already had some from our farm box, but I couldn’t resist getting a few more items. Grapefruits, little zucchini with the blossoms still attached, asparagus, a jar of apricot jam, perfect little peaches, Fiore di Capra raw goat milk Greek yoghurt, feta, and marinated soft cheese with jalapeños. Oh and roasted assorted peppers and garlic.
It was also great to meet some of the vendors that I’ve admired after I buying their products in stores around Tucson - Desert Tortoise Botanicals, Sleeping Frog Farms, and Fiore di Capra. It always makes me happy to meet the people who help us make good and delicious food choices.
In other news, I was finally able to make some fizzy water kefir! It took a few tries and even though it’s not as effervescent as a typical soda (yet!), it was fizzy and delicious and just slightly sweet. I added 3 parts fermented water kefir (second ferment) with one part strawberry-rhubarb syrup. I even brought out the rarely used champagne flutes to showcase the pale, pink color. See the bubbles on top? Makes me smile.