Monday, September 7, 2009

homemade granola

I have been thinking about making homemade granola for quite some time. This weekend, it finally happened. I learned something interesting: granola is almost excruciatingly easy to make. And when I'm in charge, I get to throw in exactly what I want (no more pesky raisins!). I may never buy the pre-made stuff again...

Here's the basic recipe (which I cobbled together from a couple I found online):

Homemade Granola*
Makes 4-6 servings

3 c. rolled oats
1 c. seeds & nuts
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
a dash of salt
1/2 - 1 c. honey
1/2 c. dried fruit (optional)

*Cole's version #1 (pictured) - seeds & nuts: 1/4 c. sunflower seeds, 1/4 c. roughly chopped almonds, 1/2 c. roughly chopped walnuts; fruit: dried blueberry, cranberry, raspberry blend.
*Cole's version #2 - seeds & nuts, 1/2 c. sunflower seeds, 1/4 c. chopped almonds, 1/4 c. chopped walnuts, 1/4 c. peanuts; fruit: chopped dried apricots; I also substituted half of the honey with maple syrup.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except fruit and honey in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup honey. Stir to combine. Continue adding more honey to reach desired clumpiness. Spread mixture evenly in a metal baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes, stirring regularly. Your goal is to get the granola to brown evenly without burning. The browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the result will be.

Remove granola from oven and add fruit. Cool on cookie sheet, stirring occasionally, until the granola reaches room temperature. Granola can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge indefinitely.

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