Monday, February 21, 2011

Good Morning Granola

Have you ever had homemade granola?  It's one of the simplest things to make, and in my opinion, tastes  far superior to any packaged granola.  When you make your own granola you can develop your own custom blend, controlling the amount of sugar, oil, and add-ins like fruit and nuts.  The possibilities are endless.  It's not a science, there is a basic formula I follow;  8 cups of dry and 1 cup of wet, bake, then mix in some dried fruit and voila... granola!

Suggestions for dry ingredients, use your imagination to total 8 cups:

  • Rolled oats
  • Wheat germ
  • Flax seed
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Coconut
  • Wheat bran
Suggestions for wet ingredients, use a combination to total 1 cup:
  • Canola oil
  • Honey
  • Agave nectar
  • Molasses
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Maple syrup
You can also add a teaspoon of vanilla, orange zest or your favorite spices to the wet ingredients.
Any dried fruit add-ins are combined after baking.
I rarely make the same granola twice.  It's a great way to use up some of those whole grains, and dried fruits in your pantry that were left over from other baking projects.  Remember, whole grains do not have a very long shelf life.

This basic combination is Paul's favorite.  I vary the add-ins based upon what I have on hand.  He likes to eat his granola with milk.  I've even seen him put it on a bowl of vanilla ice cream.  I like my granola with berries and plain greek yogurt.  

My Good Morning Granola
Makes about 9-10 cups of granola
Preheat oven 350 degrees
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 cups total - dried apricots, dried cranberries, and raisins

Toss oats, almonds and coconut together in a large bowl.
Measure canola oil into a measuring cup, then measure in the honey and agave.  
By putting the oil in first, the honey and agave won't stick to the cup.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Mix until the dry ingredients are well coated.
Spread mixture evenly on to a large baking sheet.  I use a large jelly roll pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 - 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so the granola does not stick or burn on the bottom.  A large spatula works well to flip and stir.
When the granola is golden, remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes - stir every 5 minutes while it cools.

While granola is still slightly warm mix in the dried apricots, cranberries, and raisins. 

Allow to cool completely.  Store in airtight containers.

How do you like your granola?

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