Back home in Madison, one of my favorite yoga studios keeps its lobby well-equipped with pots of strong-brewed tea, steaming hot from the tea lights flickering beneath. The tea in question? Cinnamon Plum Tea from Rishi Tea – rich, succulent, hued in deep magenta, and intensely spiced like a good mulled cider. Unwinding after a sweaty yoga practice with a small mug of this tea simultaneously awakens and calms the senses, tempting my fellow yogis and I to stick around the studio long after savasana.
With the biting cold setting in and my return to Madison for winter break fast approaching, I’ve recently found myself in a state of nostalgia for the heated yoga studio and the Cinnamon Plum Tea that accompanies it. To concurrently quell my longing for the time being and share the Cinnamon Plum wonders with you all, I crafted a Cinnamon Plum-infused granola and reached out to the wonderful folks at Rishi Tea (based right near my hometown in Milwaukee!) to provide a couple boxes of loose-leaf Cinnamon Plum Tea for my blog readers.
Though virtually anyone engaged in a business endeavor is operating under the oppressive logic of our capitalist system, the folks at Rishi are trying to do so in a manner as conscious as possible in such a harmful framework. Maintaining long-term personal relationships with farmers and artisans whose families have been making traditional teas for generations, Rishi commits itself to environmental sustainability and social responsibility through its organic and fair trade certifications, eco-friendly packaging, partnerships with other socially conscious organizations, and more.
(Quick side note: On the subject of capitalism, I’ve been doing a lot of contemplating lately surrounding the functioning of veganism as a consumerist movement, and intend to flesh out my thoughts in future posts. I’ve also been pondering the privileges that come along with blogging and running giveaways – an idea that I brought up in my last giveaway but hope to expand upon in the near future, as well. But for now, allow me to play into your consumerist sensibilities with this giveaway. That is all.)
The following granola recipe celebrates the full-bodied flavor and comfort of my beloved Cinnamon Plum Tea. Crispy, nicely sweetened, and oh-so fragrant, this granola proves ideal for topping smoothies, with ice-cold non-dairy milk, or plumped up in muesli. Don’t miss your chance to win the tea that makes this granola possible by clicking on the links at the top and bottom of this post!
Cinnamon Plum Granola
Makes about 12 cups.
4 cups oats
3 1/2 cups mixed raw nuts and seeds, chopped if large (I used almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and black sesame seeds here)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup Rishi Cinnamon Plum Tea, ground into a powder in a spice grinder
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp hazelnut extract (can substitute vanilla)
3 cups chopped dried fruit (I used raisins here, but mission figs or currants would work quite well)
3 cups neutral-flavored vegan cereal of choice (optional; I prefer the Millet-Rice Flakes from Nature’s Path)
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Have two large baking sheets ready, coated in parchment if you so choose.
In a large bowl, place the oats, nuts and seeds, salt, and ground Cinnamon Plum Tea. Stir well to combine.
In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the maple syrup or agave, oil, tahini, and extract until well-combined.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir very thoroughly to coat. At first it will seem like there isn’t enough of the wet mixture to sufficiently coat the dry, but have faith! (And mix with your hands if necessary. I find that handiworking the granola is much more effective in getting everything coated).
Divide the mixture evenly between the two baking sheets and spread it out in an even layer on each sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.
Once the granola has turned golden brown but definitely not burnt, remove from the oven and stir in half of the raisins to each baking sheets. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.
Now you, dear readers, have the chance to win the tea that can help you make this granola a reality. Three of you will win two boxes of loose-leaf Cinnamon Plum Tea from Rishi. Simply click on the links at the top or bottom of this post to enter the giveaway for your chance to win! And don’t forget to connect with Rishi Tea on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Vimeo.
This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on Sunday, December 14, and I will announce the winner on the following day.
I was not paid to run this giveaway. All opinions are completely my own.
In solidarity, Ali.