It will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows me even a little that one of my favorite things about preparing for our B&B is experimenting with recipes and planning breakfast menus for our future guests. Though I have a lot of experience creating menus and cooking for a group, most of that has focused on dinners, not breakfasts. Shifting that focus to breakfast has been a fun new challenge for me.
Food is certainly as much a part of this journey as working on the business plan, scouting possible locations, researching inns for sale, etc. Having just shuttered my food blog after eight years, this venue allows me to continue satisfying my desire to share yummy dishes. Why not start the lip smacking early?
Although we will serve a gourmet breakfast every morning, not every guest wants to start their day with a bigger meal. Also, some guests may want to get an early start on their day’s activities early and not want to wait for breakfast. For these reasons and those guests, I love the idea of offering freshly made granola with yogurt and fresh fruit that they can eat before heading out or take with them.
I’ve made a couple different granolas over the years and recently played around with a couple more. The recipe I settled on is one I adapted from Kale & Chocolate. This granola is the perfect combination of hearty, crunchy, sweet, and salty. Even better, you can substitute different fruits and nuts depending on the season and personal preferences. I can see dried cherries and pistachios in the spring, and dried cranberries and hazelnuts in fall.
For an extra boost of healthfulness, you could mix in some flax and/or chia seeds.
Blueberry Buckwheat Almond Granola
1/2 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup buckwheat
1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried blueberries (reserved until the end)
1/2 cup coconut flakes (not shredded coconut)
Note: Feel free to use whatever nuts, nut butter, and dried fruit you like.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a small pan, gently heat the almond butter and coconut oil until liquefied, then remove from the heat. Once the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in the honey and vanilla.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, buckwheat, cashews (if they're already roasted, save them until the end), pepitas, cinnamon, and kosher salt. Add the almond butter mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
Spread the mixture in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and press down with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour back into the large bowl. Add the blueberries and coconut (and cashews if already roasted), and stir to combine. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet again and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool and crisp up. Store the granola in an airtight container.