Happy President’s Day!! I have always enjoyed learning about our presidents and especially in the food arena. I don’t think there is anything that ties us all together more than food. Sure, the President puts his pants on one leg at a time, but does he enjoy a juicy bacon cheeseburger and a milkshake? Does he crave fried chicken and biscuits? Perhaps a piece of chocolate cake is more up his ally? In doing a bit of research in the spirit of President’s Day, I learned more about past President’s food preferences.
A lot of them preferred simple meals, over and over. Many were very influenced by where they grew up: Kennedy loved New England clam chowder, Bush Sr. and Jr. enjoyed tex-mex and spicy food and Carter requested grits and biscuits. Many presidents also liked a strong cup of coffee, a request I make daily. Some Presidents had less appealing cravings, for example James Garfield’s favorite was “squirrel soup.”
Old George Washington like nuts and ordered them by the barrelful and several other Presidents preferred to snack on nuts as well. I think they would enjoy this granola. A bit sweet, a bit salty, chocolaty and totally snackable, with protein packed almonds scattered throughout, it’s easy to munch on this granola and tide oneself over to the next meal.
I experimented a little with the fat in this recipe and used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil and it turned out quite well. Supposedly, this stuff lasts a few weeks but I have never had it last that long in my house. Happy Snacking!!
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup raw whole almonds
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine sugar, honey, oil and butter. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour the warm sugar mixture over the oat mixture and toss with a wooden spoon. Toss until all of the oats and almond bits are at least moistened by the sugar mixture. Spoon mixture onto prepared baking sheets and place in the oven.
- Bake granola for 30 minutes, removing from the oven to toss and stir 2 to 3 times during baking. Granola is done when it is toasted around the edges and fragrant.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.