People rarely consider what food sounds like.
Taste and smell may be the main culinary senses, but don’t underestimate importance of hearing when seeking out a satisfying meal. The bubbling of a pot of stew, the tinkle of ice cubes in a glass, the sizzle of a steak – each of these contributes to your brain’s understanding that food is on its way.
Granola provides what is perhaps the most satisfying food sound – a crispy crunch.
In The Babbo Cookbook, Chef Mario Batali notes that the word ‘crispy’ sells more food than many other adjectives. The word itself is onomatopoeic, meaning it sounds like what it represents. That close connection might have something to do with our obsession for crispy, crunchy foods.
When we bite into crunchy foods, we hear and feel the impact as the sounds radiate through our skulls and trigger our ears from the inside. It seems more satisfying, perhaps because we usually hear the sound when our teeth are in the process of grinding up food. We associate the crunching sound with a delivery of energy to our bodies.
This may be influenced by the number of delicious but unhealthy crunchy foods that we desire, such as french fries, bacon, potato chips and anything fried. Those foods combine crunch with the meaty and salty tastes of which our brains are very fond. But there are ways to get the crunch without sacrificing nutrition.
Granola offers a great crunch and can be eaten in a variety of ways. Making it requires few ingredients and little time or attention, and the oat base lends it some of the same health benefits as oatmeal. Use the following recipe as a foundation, and feel free to add other crunchy ingredients.
• 3 cups of rolled oats (old-fashioned oatmeal)
• 1 cup of chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
• 1/2 cup of liquid sweetener (honey, maple syrup, etc.)
• 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
• 3/4 teaspoon of salt
• 1 teaspoon of spice (cinnamon, ginger, etc.)
1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
3. Add sweetener and oil to bowl and mix thoroughly.
4. Spread mix flat on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Stir once around the 30-minute mark.
5. Let it cool completely in the pan, then store in bags or jars.