by Caroline

I’ve been making granola for years. I first wrote about granola for this blog nearly four years ago, and I wrote when I started following a new recipe and then again last year when the boys got in on the granola-baking act. It has been one of the very few constants in my kitchen — and in my breakfast bowl — over the last several years.

But this summer, my breakfast ritual began to change. In Paris, the first stop on our amazing August vacation, we stayed at a hotel with an astonishing breakfast bar. We came downstairs, our first jetlagged morning, to find steam trays of hot food (eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes) and platters of cold food (sliced meats and cheeses, tomatoes, cucumbers). We found a huge bowl of fruit cocktail, plates of sliced melons, and bowls of whole apples, bananas, oranges, plums, and apricots. We eyed baskets of croissants, mini brioche, and pain au chocolat, and could choose also between toasting pre-sliced bread or cutting our own hunks of baguette. We learned that the breakfast bar offered crepes alternately with waffles, and the boys delighted in the variety of toppings (jam, marmalade, Nutella, honey, syrup). We could choose between hot cereal and a variety of cold cereals — flakes, crisps, O’s — and four different kinds of yogurt.

Ben's sweet but fairly balanced breakfast

Eli's carbo-loading meal

But with all those choices, all that bounty, there wasn’t any granola. There was muesli.

So I ate muesli every day, and now I am making it at home. And I have to tell you, it’s so much faster and easier than granola! That oil/honey mixture that we pour over the granola is certainly delicious, but it makes the whole process a lot messier and makes the cereal take longer to toast up in the oven, and with this new book to promote and school activities taking more time than ever, I’m trying to streamline and simplify wherever I can. So, here it is, my super plain and simple museli, which I eat with some chopped fresh fruit and/or a sprinkle of dried cherries.

4 cups rolled oats or a multigrain flake mix
1 cup walnuts, chopped or not
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 275. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and then divide between two baking pans. Bake, stirring once or twice, until nicely toasted, about 10-15 minutes.