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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Homemade Granola

One of my favorite breakfasts is yogurt with granola. However, I find most store bought granola is either too sweet, not sweet enough, or has a bunch of grains in it of which I'm not a big fan. Fortunately, making granola is so easy, you can make a big batch of it in approximately two hours and it keeps well in air tight containers. I only need to make a batch every couple of months. Additionally, you can easily modify it to your tastes by adding whichever grains you want!

My favorite way to serve it is shown in the attached picture. I spoon some vanilla yogurt in a bowl, add a small spoon of fruit jam (freezer jam is best, gives a truly fresh-fruit flavor), toss on some granola, and top with frozen blueberries. I love the contrast of textures and flavors. My favorite jam is raspberry, but they're all good - use your favorite!

Homemade Granola
Yield: about 10 cups

2 cups quick oats
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup puffed rice
1 cup coconut
1 c wheat germ

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup honey

Mix first six ingredients in a large bowl. Mix remaining ingredients together thoroughly in a small bowl. Add wet to dry and mix completely.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two full size, rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. Spread mixture evenly on the sheets and bake, stirring every 20-30 minutes until golden brown. It takes between 1 to 1 1/2 hours typically to get a nice golden brown. Do not expect the granola to be crunchy until it cools. Also, once it gets toward the end, it can brown up very quickly, so you'll want to be a little more attentive at that point. To get the most crunchy product, you'll want to cool it spread out a bit more than the baking sheets will allow. I have a vinyl tablecloth that I keep for this type of use; I spread the granola out on to cool on the tablecloth. This recipe yields approximately 11 cups of granola.

As I said, the great thing about making your own granola is the flexibility it provides. As long as you keep the proportions correct (in this case, about 11 cups of dry grains), your granola will turn out fine. If you like it a little more sweet or less so, adjust the honey accordingly. Can't have nuts? Change them out with something else. Like a granola with some serious crunch? Add some cracked wheat. Other possible ingredients include: flax seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, pecans, or dried fruit (add fruit after granola is completely cooled - do note that the moisture in the dried fruit will cause your granola to stale faster). The sky's the limit!

2 comments:

  1. I'm so excited to find your Cooking BLOG. I'm already anxious to try making your granola this weekend. Keep it coming !!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you came to "visit"! I hope you enjoy the granola. If you don't feel the need for a gallon of granola you can always halve the recipe too. 'Course, it gives away nicely. Let me know how it turns out!

    ReplyDelete

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