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I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet
I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy

Rock Star Maple-Vanilla Granola

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Having come of age in the 1960s in the San Francisco Bay Area, I experienced the folk music era, mini-skirts, peace marches and lots of good ole’ rock ‘n’ roll. In 1969 I moved to the Mendocino Coast and lived in a farm house built in 1886. All this is to say, I know granola!

The granola we ate then isn’t the same granola we enjoy today. It was homemade and nutritious but, we couldn’t find many of the unique ingredients that we have now. Think coconut oil, cocoa nibs or ground vanilla bean powder, to name a few.

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I’ve created a granola that is delicate, crisp, not overly sweet, and really, really good! You can enjoy a bowl for a protein-rich breakfast or snack, eat it like trail mix, create parfaits with granola, lightly sweetened yogurt and fresh fruits and berries and even use it as a topping when you’re baking muffins or making a fruit crisp.

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I’ve chosen the ingredients specifically for flavor and nutritional value. I use rolled oats from Bob’s Red Mill as the base. Walnuts, hazelnuts, and seeds are protein-rich, high in Omega 3’s and other fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals, all great energy boosters. I use coconut chips instead of dessicated coconut as they toast well, taste better and support the flavor of the coconut oil.

Cocoa nibs are cacao bean pieces with the shell removed. The alkaloids in chocolate/cocoa provide long-term energy without the jitters and caffeine crash. They’re also filled with antioxidants that fight free radicals (there were a number of them in the 60s too), and healthy fats.

Coconut oil has medium chain triglycerides (excellent for brain health) and withstands heat without losing nutritional value. Maple syrup is a super-food that stabilizes blood sugar and provides flavor without overwhelming sweetness.

Vanilla extract and ground vanilla bean powder are good for our lungs, contain antioxidants and act vanilla-bean-powderas the backup choir for the many flavors in the granola without overriding them.

The payoff? A breakfast high in protein, complex carbs and healthy fats that keeps you energized and curbs your appetite.

Bon appetit!

 

 

 

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Click here to use this granola in Maple Brunch and Dessert Parfaits

 

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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
Patricia Rain
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