Friday, March 20, 2009

gone granola

A while back, I started researching homemade granola in an effort to get some morning nutrition into my always-in-a-rush, "Coffee is breakfast" husband. I did some looking online, played around with a few recipes, and finally landed on my own version below, which has since become a family staple. We eat it daily as cereal (no icky preservatives or dyes!), a handful at a time for a snack, over yogurt, with berries and cream... Yum.

What you need:

12 cups old fashioned oats (basically one large box of Quaker)
¾ cup wheat germ
1 ½ cups sesame seeds
3 cups slivered or sliced raw almonds
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Optional adaptations:
  • Add 3 cups dried, unsweetened, shredded coconut. (Love the flavor. Not so much the fat.)

  • Add ½ cup milled flax seed. (The only reason I leave this out is because my husband has convinced himself that he's allergic. Hmf.)

  • Add chopped dried fruit. (Mix it in at the end, after baking.)

  • Change up the nuts. (Pecans are DELICIOUS in this, but make sure you don't overbake them – bitter! I made this mistake early on and now they're outlawed. Unfairly.)
Okay, so here's how you make it:

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Separately, mix the spice and wet ingredients thoroughly, then pour them over the dry mixture and give it a good, thorough stir. (I like to get my hands in there to make sure it mixes well and every little oat is covered with spicy, sugary goodness. But I guess a large mixing spoon might also do the trick. Suit yourself.)

Spread an even layer on a nongreased baking sheet (I use three at a time for this size batch). Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour and a half, stirring every 15 minutes or so, or until the granola is consistently golden brown.

The process is a little labor intensive, but totally worth it. (Really perfect for a rainy afternoon when you're stuck inside. The entire house smells like oatmeal cookies. Mmmm.)

And with that much granola, it's not like you'll be doing it that often, right? If you're concerned about the amount, cut it down. Or freeze it in portions and use as needed. There's no science to making or eating granola, so consider these some loose, but proven (by me at least) guidelines and go make up a batch of your own!


Larissa Holland said...

oooh, loved that stuff while we were visiting your house, and am happy to now have the exact recipe you use. thanks! Michael's new favorite treat for himself is a yogurt and granola parfait, so this will be great to have around.

Larissa Holland said...

(btw, very nicely photographed!)

Anonymous said...

You lost me at Canola oil.

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