Today is the launch of my big virtual blog tour. Rather than jet around the country, my recipes are being made all over the country by talented bloggers. I hope you will click on Leinana and Caron’s links and visit their outstanding blogs for two more breakfast treats.

Leave a comment at one or all of our blogs, and you will be entered to win a copy of Big Vegan at each one. Go to twitter and tweet your reason for going vegan with the hashtag #bigvegan by November 4 midnight CST, and you will be entered in the twitter contest, too.

Baguette French Toast Stuffed with “Cream Cheese” and Topped with Apples

Leinana Two Moons


Matcha Scones with Golden Raisins

Caron Golden

I hope you are hungry, since we have a hearty breakfast to share today.

Maple-Barley Granola with Pecans

As for my breakfast, I picked a recipe that I make often. It’s not the showiest or the most photogenic, but dangit, I love it. I’ve been a connoisseur of granola since my early days working in whole-grainy bakeries, where we often had a house granola. We made it by hand in huge batches, measuring mountains of soft, fluffy oats into a deep container before pouring jug-fuls of liquids over it all. I can remember mixing up deep vats of the stuff, up to my elbows in oats, oil and syrup. We believed in whole grains and didn’t care about fat. The granola was rich, tender and sweet, and usually loaded with nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

Good times.

In the years since, I’ve had plenty of time to experiment with granola. I’ve even written about it for Taunton’s Fine Cooking, who published my piece on granola as a holiday gift years ago. I wrote granola recipes for Veggie Life, too, once upon a time.

One of the things I really like in granola are chunks. Adding some flour and other ingredients that will stick together and create slabs of granola is one of my fave tricks. That makes the best granola for eating with your fingers. It’s almost like cookies, broken up in a bowl of milk. To achieve this, I add some flour and either protein powder or gluten flour, and some liquids to hold it all together.

That extra protein will help carry you through to lunch, along with the high-fiber, nutrient dense whole grains. Pack a baggie of this granola just in case you need a snack-it’s great just eaten as is.

Maple-Barley Granola

Oats reign in the cereal world, but did you know that barley has more of the heart-healthy starches that make oats the recommended grain? Beta-glucans are a kind of starch that lowers cholesterol, and barley has more of them. It also makes a hefty, tasty rolled flake that you can make into a delicious granola. If you can’t find rolled barley, you can use rolled oats.

Serves 16

2          cups/170 g rolled oats

2          cups/170 g rolled barley flakes

2          cups brown rice crispies

1          cup/115 g pecan pieces

½         cup/60 g whole wheat flour

½         cup/40 g vegan protein powder or gluten flour

1          cup/240 ml maple syrup

½         cup/120 ml canola oil

2          tsp vanilla extract

½         tsp salt

Ready to mix

1. Preheat the oven to 300° F/150° C/gas 2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, barley, rice crispies, pecans, flour, and protein powder . In a large bowl or a blender, combine the syrup, oil, vanilla, and salt. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets and spread the oat mixture on the pans.

2. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the granola with a spatula and bake for 20 minutes more, until it is lightly toasted. Cool the granola on the pans completely on racks, then transfer to airtight containers or zip-top bags.Keeps for a couple of week, tightly closed, or put it in the freezer for a couple of months.

Toasty Crunchy Granola