There’s a touch of both worthiness and authority in every bite of this salted-cinnamon granola

The term ‘wholefoods’ kind of irks me. Partly because it’s imbued with such worthiness and partly because it gets thrown around so often, with such authority and I’ve never really known what it means (except that I’ll pay a hefty surcharge if I see it written on a packet).

Finally I looked it up and was pleasantly surprised to realise that ALL THIS TIME, I have been living the wholefoods dream and I didn’t even know it.

You know, those carrots I buy? WHOLEFOODS.

And the organic meat I cook with? WHOLEFOODS.

And the cashews I feed the kids after school? WHOLEFOODS.

Because wholefoods just means that you buy unprocessed ingredients and cook stuff.

I was, of course, stoked by this discovery and quite delighted by my unwitting cool-ness and ability to throw my new word into conversation, with both authority and worthiness.

I think the problem with much of the new health-food evangelism is that it is spouted by born-again healthy people. Extreme folks who used to drink 20 can of Coke each day, but after imbibing their first green smoothie four months ago, have now seen the light and have set a new mission to pervade the entire electronic world with their message. Which is, of course, is delivered with authority and worthiness.

For me, my food history is boring. I definitely eat better now than I did 10 years ago, but I’ve always enjoyed clean food and cooking. Which makes my story dull and less compelling. I have less authority and worthiness. Although now that I realise that I’m a wholefood-devotee of 40 years, without weight or health issues, perhaps I do have the chance to up my personal sell with motivational spurtings about ‘wellness’ and ‘holistic living’.

So while ‘wholefoods’ can be a blurry term, ’whole grains’ are quite a specific thing. According to the Whole Grains Council (yes, they exist) this is the definition…. “100% of the original kernel – all of the bran, germ, and endosperm – must be present to qualify as a whole grain.” The theory being that they deliver more fibre, nutrition and help prevent disease. (I’ll leave the science of all that up to the sciencey-people to quibble over.)

Paleo folks dismiss the entire grains oeuvre, but I’m still a fan. I feel good when I eat them. I feel nourished and happy and well. So I eat them. And I’m quietly delighted when I find a little gem of a book being published like Megan Gordon’s “Whole Grain Mornings”. So many lovely & original ideas for people like me, who still quietly eat carbohydrates (behind closed doors, of course).

Apparently she’s terribly famous for ‘Marg’s Granola’, and she generously shares the recipe. It’s a basic granola that you can twist & adapt to suit your own household, which is what I’ve done here…

vegie smugglers salted cinnamon granola

Worthy, authoritative, but most importantly, DELICIOUS.

Salted Cinnamon Granola

4 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups nuts & seeds (I like flaxseeds, pumpkin, sunflower, flaked almonds & pecans)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (or cassia, if you can get your hands on it)
1/4 cup sweetener (seriously, don’t email me, just use whatever damn sweetener you like, or leave it out altogether if you’re born-again sugar free)
1/4 cup liquid fat (again, your choice, I like olive oil. Coconut oil also works fine) And just quietly, 1/4 cup barely does it, if you want serious crunch, you need a bit more.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a big deep oven tray. Mix all these ingredients together, pop them evenly into the tray and bake for about 35 minutes, stirring a couple of times along the way.

When cool, combine in with…

2 cups dried fruit (I like currants, sultanas & dried apple)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 cups bran bits. This is optional, leave it out for a wheat-free granola
2 cups puffed corn. Again, this is optional, but I like to pad my granola out a bit – it’s not a cheap breakfast, after all.

Mix everything together and ENJOY your breakfast, knowing that each spoonful contains its own little bit of both worthiness and authority. AND its delicious.

vegie smugglers cheese spinach sticks

Earlier this week I published an easy little recipe for cheese & spinach sticks. Did you see it? Click over to Mother & Baby for that one.


10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    luminous said,

    Love your attitude 🙂
    I too have been a whole foods, clean eating, organic mama since way before I even had my daughter (except the mama part obviously) without realising how exciting it was, or shouting it from the rooftops. I’ve also worked as a natural therapist for over 15 years. I started feeling bit overwhelmed when my littlie started school and i was suddenly surrounded by all these very strong, and often contradictory opinions about what healthy food was.
    Until I realised that i’d actually been doing so much of this all along, and the things i wasn’t doing (like ignoring grains) don’t seem relevant to us as none of us have an issue with that pesky little protein everyone loves to hate.
    And I would much rather be relaxed and enjoy food that is healthy for my little family, than get all fired up and angsty about it.
    So I love to read your recipes, and see the approach you have, and appreciate the lack of fear you have around food.

    So I just wanted to say – Thank you!

    PS – and a special thank you for your chicken sausage rolls – huge hit in our house and at kids parties!!

    • 2

      wendyblume said,

      Thanks for that – who would have thought that a lack of fear around food would be necessary! Seems a bit spoiled, doesn’t it! Think us westerners forget how lucky we are sometimes!

      • 3

        luminous said,

        Oh I agree. Its crazy. We are so lucky to have the multitudes & varieties of food available, and yet our society seems so caught up in so many strong views. There is a wonderful FB page called Fearless Feeding – it was only after I read that that I realised just how much fear there is around so many aspects of how we eat.
        Anyway…appreciate your down to earth approach 🙂

  2. 4

    Cara said,

    Oh Wendy!
    I bought yet another cookbook on the weekend, this time a wholefoods one. The lady who owns the little independent book shop I bought the book from and I were talking about this very topic, I said to her for me whole foods are anything you cook from scratch! So thank you for be in the fly on the wall at Belconnen Markets this last weekend.

    • 5

      wendyblume said,

      Funny! Hope the cookbook is good! Buying new ones always makes me happy.

      • 6

        Cara said,

        We discussed baking cakes and buying packet mixes and I said I felt that anything cooked from scratch really is a whole food as it doesn’t contain all the fillers to preserve the packaged stuff on the shelf longer.
        Also, after all the discussion you had last year whether or not to buy a Thermomix… I finally gave in myself and bought a TM21 from Germany thanks to e-bay. Learning how to use it now! with my new wholefoods cookbook ;-P

      • 7

        wendyblume said,

        Well, the thermy is perfect for that! Mine is still doing a great job boiling eggs!

  3. 8

    Sarah said,

    Laughing so much!! I too was pleasantly surprised when I googled the definition of wholefoods and realised that’s how I eat and always have. Love your recipes always a winner with the kids and hubby, and your sensible approach, food is to be enjoyed and shared not to feel smug and self ritous over

  4. 10

    katie said,

    Have had this sitting open as a tab in my browser window (yup, I’m one of those weirdos with so much going on in my life and in my head I have 48 tabs open at any one time) with the idea to give your granola recipe a shot… but only just took the time to read it – goodness you make me giggle!!!! I snorted out loud at “seriously, don’t email me, just use whatever damn sweetener you like, or leave it out altogether if you’re born-again sugar free”…. bwahahahaha!!!

    Thanks for keeping it real!! Looking forward to our ‘wholefoods’ granola 🙂

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply to wendyblume Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: