Make it. Eat it. Love it.
Stretching my legs after the long drive from NY to Tennessee felt amazing. The 17 hour drive and 5 hours in a crowded car just waiting online to get onto the grounds made everyone antsy. The sun was beating down on us as we set up our tents and unpacked our car. Tired, hot and hungry we sat around waiting for the sun to set or rain to come and reprieve us from the Tennessee heat. As my friend strummed his guitar I passed around a large container of homemade granola. We munched on the sweet crunchy snack and gained energy to emerge from our small circle and start exploring the Bonnaroo grounds before our weekend of live music began. This scene repeated for years, different concerts and festivals, new bands and old favorites and with friends, old and new.
Granola is a staple at summer concerts and is undoubtably rooted in the hippy movement of the 1960’s where hippies were driven by ‘healthy’ eating and the trend to eat the mixture of oats and grains began. And, though granola will always remind me of the Birkenstock wearing, tie-dyed wrapped, dreaded haired girls that wandered around concert grounds offering up their homemade version, the popularity of granola has grown tremendously through the years and has moved and evolved way beyond those ‘granola hippies’.
There is something comforting and familiar about granola and maybe it’s all the music festivals I spent my time at or the long weekends roaming around the quiet town of Woodstock that give me that craving to munch on a jar of it, and luckily it couldn’t be easier to make at home. Store bought granola and granola found on menus in cafes are usually loaded with brown sugar or maple syrup and so a homemade version, like many things, is always nice because you can control what goes into it and fill it with your favorite nuts and fruits.
Chia seeds are something new for me and after reading about their amazing health benefits and hearing how great they were from my mom, I bought a jar of them. If you aren’t familiar with this superfood, its high time you become aquatinted with it. They aid in weight loss by reducing food cravings, they are filled with omega-3, they help control blood sugar, they help you feel fuller faster and may just be one of the healthiest things around. These little black seeds that have a nutty taste when eaten raw can also be added to pretty much anything. From your morning yogurt to smoothies, baked goods like breads and cakes to salad dressings and eggs. It’s amazing how versatile this healthy little seed can be and has become a favorite in my kitchen. I used raw chia seeds in my granola along with slivered almonds, dried dates, cranberries and bananas. I sweetened it with agave syrup and just a tablespoon of maple syrup.
And since this pregnant belly of mine wont be frequenting any of the stops along Phish’s tour this summer or catching new bands that I have fallen in love with like the Alabama Shakes at Bonnaroo or Vibes, I’ll be able to sit back with a jar of granola and enjoy it just the same while listening to music play on my speakers and playing The Beatles and Bob Dylan on headphones placed on my tummy for my baby to enjoy, while enjoying the summer sun.
|Chia Granola with Almonds and Dried Fruit||
To serve as pictured, place 1 tablespoon of honey in a glass and top with 1/2 cup of yogurt. Finish off with granola.