The Hope of Poppies (and Orange Almond No Oil Granola)

by Maria Theresa Maggi on March 13, 2020

"Poppies," chalk pastel by

“Poppies,” chalk pastel by Maria Theresa Maggi

As most of you know, I make my meals by the seat of my pants these days, and my recipe posts are usually guided by tasty epiphanies and not carefully remade and tested over and over again to make sure of consistency. But this granola is different. After having to buy some over the holidays to put in chocolate bark for the loved ones, I resolved I would try to make some without oil, and if possible, without sugar. I have done so repeatedly, but until now all this experimentation was so spontaneous that I couldn’t gather enough helpful information to even produce a strategy that was straightforward.

But now I can, and that is posted below. The patience it took to wait for this to work out enough to share reminds me of how important it is to be patient, to be positive, to keep a sense of humor in the face of fearful and uncertain events, like the wild spread of this corona virus. I do always punt back to a sense of humor, so I’ll just say that hopefully you’ll be able to find the ingredients at the store when and if you go for essentials, since none of them are hand sanitizer or toilet paper.

Orange And Almond No-Oil Granola

Orange Almond No Oil Granola made by Maria Theresa Maggi

Orange Almond No Oil Granola made by Maria Theresa Maggi

dry ingredients:

2 generous cups of gluten free oats
1 tablespoon of ground golden flax
about 1 tbs of slivered almonds
dash of nutmeg

wet ingredients:

the juice from half of a large navel orange
2 tbs 1/4 cup of date paste (dates softened in hot water and pureed in the food processor)
1 tbs of maple syrup
1 tsp of vanilla’
1/2 tsp of almond extract

Put dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix together wet ingredients. Poor wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a fork until everything is coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the mixture out on it. Bake at 335 degrees for about 28 minutes, stirring half way through. Cool and store in a jar. Keeps well for a week, though it’s likely not to last that long.

Notes: Amounts are approximate. If you don’t have an orange, applesauce works great. I added cinnamon when I used it.

This may sound odd, but I’ve long thought my physical challenges and my healing regimens have surprised me with the notion that in some ways I’m much better prepared than others when crisis strikes. I am not sure what to think of that, but it has come to me often as a possibility that the soul purpose of each of us, the things that bring our strengths out do not look like “winning” to the outside world. So I’m experiencing a weird sense of catch up as the world starts recommending slowing down, social distancing, staying home, eating well, keeping hands clean and so forth, as everyone tries to cope with the uncertainty of the virus and the lack of a clear medical path through as the medical establishment does it’s best to catch up with adequate testing  and save lives of those most sick. It’s overwhelming, at times,  to be certain, and frightening, too, especially after my bout with chemical pneumonia last Spring. So I don’t take this lightly, nor do I take lightly any of the challenges, fears and concerns you are all facing in your own lives because of this pandemic.

Nevertheless, there is lightness in me. I’ve taken to making sure I honor it when it appears, that I don’t waste it. One way I’ve been doing that is to sit out in the sun (when it’s out) at least for a few minutes at what I call “the fairy hour” of the day–noon– and just feel its warmth. Here’s a short description of that from a few days ago:

“Sat outside earlier today with the sun on my face, my feet on the earth, eyes closed, listening to the wind, the trees, the soft sounds of birds in the bushes and underneath it the ocean–”

This, as well as the zinc lozenges, the hand-washing, the cancellations, and all the other precautions, is good medicine for me. That and continued talking with my body and checking in with what it needs, feeding it well, helping it rest. Then there is room for the kind of medicine that brings me the boon of resilience–silliness.

When I sit out in my little yard, it’s evident the moles have been active. There are several mounds of well turned soil amidst the soft green grass, and even one out in front of my house in the gravel at the bottom of the driveway. They do a much better job of turning earth than I can these days. The other day I came upon an old red pepper flake jar I had put California poppy seeds into. I couldn’t get out of my mind how much it would make me laugh to see poppies coming up from these mounds of turned earth, so this morning, in the drizzle after we got back from our morning walk, I took the old red pepper shaker jar out and sprinkled them all with California poppy seeds and patted them down in to the damp mounds of earth. Maybe later in summer I’ll see bright orange blossoms popping open. But even if I don’t, I see them now in my mind’s eye, and it warms my heart and soul and makes me giggle. And that’s good for whatever ails me in the moment, and hopefully for you too, which is why I share it here.

Keep eating healthy, keep taking care of yourselves, keep washing your hands, and keep loving and laughing every chance you get. We’re all in this together, and every arrow in the quiver matters.

Maria (moonwatcher)





Leave a Comment

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Peggy Bean March 14, 2020 at 8:36 am

Thanks so much. Really good to hear from you!


2 Maria Theresa Maggi March 14, 2020 at 11:09 am

You are most welcome Peggy–take good care of you! xoxo


3 Silvia March 14, 2020 at 9:24 am

Thank you, Maria!


4 Silvia March 14, 2020 at 9:26 am

Thank you, Maria!
I love the last 2 sentences! Take good care of yourself!


5 Maria Theresa Maggi March 14, 2020 at 11:08 am

Thanks so much Silvia–you take good care too! xo


6 Susan Gail Wright March 14, 2020 at 10:24 am

love the picture and the recipe thank you so much


7 Maria Theresa Maggi March 14, 2020 at 11:08 am

You are most welcome Susan–enjoy! 🙂


8 Maryann Matteo March 14, 2020 at 1:43 pm

How many ounces of juice are in 1/2 of a large navel orange?


9 Maria Theresa Maggi March 14, 2020 at 2:04 pm

That’s a good question. I’m sorry Maryann, I have no idea. I’d say it’s about a third of a cup, maybe a little more.


10 Laura March 14, 2020 at 8:23 pm

I love your postings. Thank you for sharing you with us. Take care…


11 Maria Theresa Maggi March 15, 2020 at 9:51 am

Thanks, Laura! You take care too!


12 Veronica March 18, 2020 at 11:38 am

These are interesting times… Taking it 1 day at a time, and honoring our feelings and needs is pretty much the best we can do! And laugh – I agree that the lightness helps so much. Your recipe sounds tasty and nourishing! Maybe I’ll whip up a batch to snack on. 🙂 And I love how you sprinkled the California poppy seeds on the mole hills! We’ve got moles, too, and seeing the little mounds everywhere makes me smile. The beautiful bright orange poppies, I agree, would make them look even better! 🙂 Stay well, my dear friend. xoxo


13 Maria Theresa Maggi March 20, 2020 at 9:33 am

Thanks So much, Veronica! I love that you get it about the moles! Waving to you from over here and sending my love and stay well wishes back to you, dear heart.


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