Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How To: Granola

A while back, I bought some gourmet granola for a friend. It looked wonderful: chia seeds, dried cherries, and sunflower seeds. Yogurt and granola make a fabulous breakfast, both delicious and healthy, but that store-bought granola set me back $8. Yeah... That's not an item I could afford to purchase on a regular basis. So I set about learning the basics of granola-making at home.

I started with a basic recipe from Sugar Sweet Bean, coming up with a bare bones template that could be altered for endless variation. I have enjoyed many variations on this granola theme in the past several months, and all have been lovely. (Except that one where I added the dried fruit before baking and they turned into burnt pieces of ash.)

And I have to say, it so, so easy. I will probably never buy granola again now that I know how simple it is to make at home. I basically just toss together whatever combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and spices I have in the pantry (bought cheaply in the bulk section of the grocery store). Bake it for 30 minutes and I have a new stash of wonderful homemade granola. Here's to a future of wholesome, exciting breakfasts!

Basic Granola Formula

3 c. old-fashioned oats
1 c. nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc.)
1/2 c. mixed seeds (sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, poppyseeds, flaxseeds, etc.)
3/4 c. coconut (optional)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1-2 pinches of coarse salt
5 T. liquid sweetener (pure maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, etc)
4 T. neutral oil (canola, olive oil, vegetable oil, etc.)

1 1/2 c. dried fruit of your choice (cranberries, blueberries, cherries, apricots, dates, etc.)

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl (do not add the dried fruit yet!). Stir in the sweetener and oil of your choice. If you want it sweeter, add more sweetener; feel it needs more oil, then add more. Line a bake sheet with aluminum foil, and spread the granola evenly. In a preheated 350 degree oven, bake for 15 minutes, then stir around, and bake another 12-15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool for a bit before adding the dried cranberries. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

1 comment:

  1. I have been wanting to make granola for MONTHS. I think it's time I do.


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