Monday, January 14, 2013

recipe: Granola

Mike and I are big fans of granola. Mike likes it because he's got a weird milk allergy, he can't handle a bowl of cereal and milk because he feels like his throat is going to close up, but yogurt and granola don't seem to make him stop breathing, so he's started eating granola and yogurt every morning.  Which is good, because I love my husband and don't want him to stop breathing on account of Honey Bunches of Oats.  Ok, back to the granola...

Granola can be expensive for a small amount when you buy the good stuff from the store. Especially the fancy gluten free varieties that we like to have.  (Again with Mike's quirks, we think he's gluten intolerant.)  So, I have recently started to make granola at home. It took a few times to get it right but I think I finally have. This recipe seems to be a winner. I also figured out that it's good to store your granola in a cute glass container on your counter, well you can decide on the "cute" part and if you want to store it on your counter or someplace else, but the glass container part in non-negotiable in my book.

PS - You'll see below that you can use coconut oil or olive oil for this recipe...Can someone tell me how Coconut oil works? I bought a jar of it and it's in solid form.  I have no idea how to get it out of that solid form (I assume heat it, but I am a bit puzzled)...which is why I use olive oil in this recipe instead, but soon I should become a grown up and figure out how to use the stuff that sits in my pantry.

Here's the recipe I found via Pinterest (I've added my notes in Italics.)
Granola Recipe 1.0
Yield: About 7 cups
This recipe is just a starting point. Granola is one of the most adaptable foods you can make. Use up the oats you have, if you’re low on those stir in extra nuts, seeds, or other fiber flakes. If you’re low on honey or maple syrup, do as Michelle does when in a pinch and make use of the jam jars in your fridge. The important thing to keep in mind is to add enough oil so the dried ingredients crisp. I like olive oil (after all I’m part Portuguese) and Michelle, a more sensible cook, likes coconut oil. Tweak to your liking.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats or equivalent measurement with oat bran, barley and flax seed mixed (I use gluten free oats)
1 cups raw almonds and / or pecans, roughly chopped (I use a cup of both)
1 cup pumpkin seeds (I never seem to have pumpkin seeds on hand so I omitted this)
1/2 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup honey or maple syrup (I use a combination of local honey and maple syrup - it gives the right granola cluster consistency, I think.)
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil or coconut oil (I use olive oil)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped dried cherries, currants, yellow raisins or a mix of all three (I toss in whatever I have in the pantry: dried pomegranates, figs, dates, prunes, craisins - everything has been delicious.)
Additionally, I add about a cup (or more) of chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds and because I can't find enough reasons to use up my pumpkin spice mixture, I toss in a teaspoon or so of that as well.  
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the oats, nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, maple syrup or honey, oil, salt and cinnamon together. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.
2. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add the dried fruit, tossing to combine. 
Photo: Maple Spice Granola from larissalmarks
Kitty Greenwald, cook and author, coordinates all things Eatsy — our locally sourced food program. Through communal staff meals held around handmade farm tables, and via seasonal dishes shared with you on our blog, Eatsy aims to nourish and inspire through food.

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