Food + Drink

Finding Balance with A Beautiful Mess (and a Recipe for Miso Granola)

We’re excited to be publishing the very first cookbook from A Beautiful Mess this fall!  In the book, co-creators (and sisters) Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson share their healthy and delicious go-to recipes. 

Also, if you preorder the book, you can snag a digital download full of goodies—like a print from Brittany Wright of @wrightkitchen, a calendar to mark your progress, a meal prep game plan, and a fun sheet of icons you can use to make stickers, magnets, vinyl decals, or even temporary tattoos. Simply email your receipt to to get them all. Find out more here.

Today, Emma’s sharing a recipe for her sweet-savory miso granola. Read on for the recipe!

A Beautiful Mess

Here’s a word that I find really polarizing: balance. Depending on what’s going on in my life I sometimes view this word as a top priority and best friend; or I may think of it as a swear word that if anyone mentions it to me I immediately want to scream.

Do you ever feel that too? My sister Elsie and I had this word in mind when we developed our cookbook, A Beautiful Mess: Weekday Weekend. I LOVE to eat. If I could fill all of my days with cheesy pizza, brownies, and wine I’d be a happy gal. But as we all know, there would probably be some consequences if I simply ate whatever I wanted all the time. And that’s where the word balance comes in.

Our cookbook, developed alongside two registered dietitians, is all about eating well for five days a week and then enjoying your weekend. It’s a challenge just as much as it is a cookbook and we’ve packed it will recipes that fit both healthy weekdays and indulgent weekends. Do you need a really good salad or green smoothie recipe? We got you covered. Feeling like baking a batch of cookies this weekend or mixing up a great cocktail? We got that too. This is a challenge we incorporate into our own lives as we chase that ever elusive word ‘balance.’ We hope it helps you on your own journey.


Emma (+Elsie)

Miso Granola

A Beautiful Mess: Miso Granola

Makes about three cups; serves six to eight

One thing you should know about me before you make this great granola recipe with a salty Asian twist is, I like my granola quite toasty. Not burnt—but on its way. I think it takes on much more flavor that way. I also just plain love this rendition, as the granola is both sweet and savory, and makes for a fantastic, satisfying, and quick breakfast folded into some coconut yogurt or with almond milk poured over. Add some fresh fruit and you’re in business, either way.

  • 1/3 cup [80 ml] olive oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp miso paste (see Note)
  • 2 cups [200 g] rolled oats
  • 1 cup [120 g] sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup [25 g] unsweetened
  • coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F [180°C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a glass measuring cup, stir together the olive oil, maple syrup, and miso until well combined. Set aside.

3. Put the oats in a small bowl. In another small bowl, stir together the almonds and coconut flakes.

4. Pour half of the liquid ingredients over the oats and half over the almonds and coconut flakes. Stir each well, so that all the pieces get thoroughly coated.

5. Spread the oats in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and scatter the almond and coconut mixture on the pan. Sprinkle everything with the salt, stir well, and spread in a single layer again. Bake until the granola looks very toasted (a few pieces of the coconut flakes may even look like they’re burning), 10 to 12 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool.

6. Store at room temperature in a glass jar, tightly covered with a lid, or in a big plastic zippered bag for up to 2 weeks. (Mine never lasts longer than a week, though, as I LOVE sprinkling it over smoothie bowls or eating it at any time of day when I need a quick snack or small meal.)

NOTE: Miso, a classic ingredient in Japanese cooking, is made primarily from fermented soybeans, which give it a rich, salty, umami flavor. Often found in paste form, it can be added to soups, broths, marinades, or any time you want to add a deeper, more complex layer of flavor to recipes (miso caramel, yum!). Miso is a powerful antioxidant, rich in zinc, copper, and manganese, and can be found in almost all major grocery stores and at your local Asian market.

A Beautiful Mess

You can find A Beautiful Mess: Weekday Weekend here.


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