I feel a bit like Valentine’s Day the past few years has not treated me kindly. Several years ago, Clay asked me what I wanted for Valentine’s Day and I told him I wanted to go to my favorite winery here in the PNW, Brandborg Winery, to taste wine and to have lunch at Tomaselli’s, both of which are in the tiny town of Elkton in Southern Oregon. That year, I caught a cold right before Valentine’s Day and there was no hope of me tasting anything. Last year, I had to go to Baltimore for a work conference right around Valentine’s Day, which resulted in a harrowing plane ride and taxi ride to get to my conference hotel in the middle of one of the many nasty snowstorms the East coast has had these past few years. This year, I don’t trust my back to make the nearly ninety minute round-trip drive it takes to get to Elkton and back.
I’ll console myself with a Valentine’s Day breakfast of Greek yogurt and this granola. As you can tell, I’m a fan of any granola that includes dark chocolate as one of the ingredients. I also picked up a bottle of agave syrup in the organic aisle at one of our markets this past weekend. I think I like the combination of agave and honey – it doesn’t make the granola overly sweet. And this may be a bit of an obvious hack, but if you pour the olive oil first and then use the same measuring cup to measure out the honey and agave, both pour out very, very easily.
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup dried quinoa
1 cup pecan pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup agave syrup
¼ cup honey
½ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
½ cup dried Bing cherries
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine the oats, dried quinoa, pecans, olive oil, agave syrup, and honey in a bowl. Spread the granola mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 10-minute intervals for a total of 30 minutes. Stir between each interval.
Remove the granola from the oven and let cool. I sprinkle the chocolate chips and dried cherries over the granola as soon as it’s removed from the oven. However, if you prefer that your chocolate doesn’t melt, wait until the granola is fully cooled to add the chocolate and dried cherries.
Store in an airtight container.