VC students embrace stereotype with homemade granola

Courtesy of Rafaela Vega del Castillo
Courtesy of Rafaela Vega del Castillo
Courtesy of Rafaela Vega del Castillo

Situated in the bustling streets of Lower Manhattan is Two Hands Restaurant & Bar. This small establishment combines Australian café culture and delicious, simple food for a scrumptious dining experience. Entering into the light airiness of the restaurant front, a short walk up the stairs places you face-to-face with a coffee machine, hissing and clanking as it whips up a freshly frothed almond milk latte. The space is bright and its corners are filled with vegetation and thoughtful decor. But once you sit down, the menu is what becomes the most enticing view. Centered around wholesome, simple ingredients, Two Hands has something for everyone, assured to provide an exceptional breakfast! But these Aussie owners don’t stop here. This newly opened eatery also offers lunch and dinner, with exceptional drinks from smooth, full bodied lattes to a lengthy wine list.

Immediately after being seated, we were offered various options for coffee. These were unlimited, including the different styles of coffee and creamers available. We ended up choosing almond milk lattes, and a few minutes later we knew that we had made the right decision as our server brought our drinks to the table. Served in small, minimalistic, clear glasses, the coffee aroma oozed out of the cup, inviting us to taste it, delighting all our senses. We were also pleasantly surprised by the creaminess of the latte, since creamy texture is not easily achieved when using almond milk.

Delving into the menu became a battle of choices, where the decision of what to order was delayed by the indecisiveness of our entire brunch party. After a few more just-a-minutes and multiple caffeine boosts, we finally arrived at a relative certainty of what we would order, although one can never be sure if it was the right choice until your taste buds give an ultimate acknowledgment in experiential flavor divinity.

After the final consensus was made and orders were placed, our plates arrived with equal attention to taste and presentation. In between spinach leaves, perfectly hard-boiled eggs and delectable portions of berries, each one of the members of our party admired their plate in awe and couldn’t wait to start tasting these marvels. One of the most delicious plates was the Housemade Granola, complete with a generous smear of tart passion fruit yogurt, crunchy granola which was just sweet enough to contrast the passion fruit, and a bountiful bowl of fresh berries. The hands that crafted such a thoughtful breakfast cannot be more celebrated. Before the meal was over, we were already imagining another visit to Two Hands on a quest to sample new dishes, flavors and fresh food concepts.

Add all your ingredients into a medium sized bowl, except the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil on the stove or in the microwave until the oil liquefies. Pour the coconut oil into the large bowl, mixing ingredients together evenly. The oats should be lightly glazed, but not saturated. Next, add maple syrup and vanilla extract into the mixture and combine. Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Pour granola mixture onto the sheet, and spread evenly. Break apart any clumps to prevent burning.

Bake at 300 degrees for 50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. This will ensure that all side of the oats are being crisped, giving you an even golden color and a crunchy finale. If you would like the granola more or less crunchy, watch the time and sample the granola’s texture as it bakes.

For a more flavor packed granola, try adding different nuts (pistachios, Brazil nuts, etc.) or dried cranberries and coconut flakes. A tip for dried fruit and coconut: add these ingredients to the granola in the last 10 minutes of the baking process. This will ensure that they do not become overly cooked, but just roasted enough to blend with the other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup crushed almonds
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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