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Friday, 12 April 2013

Homemade Granola

This is a great, easy granola recipe (aka, no stirring while it's cooking in the oven!). 
I prefer eating granola with milk (like cereal).  My kids and husband love it with yogurt (we get lactose-free).   We first discovered this way of making granola via Cook's Illustrated and then have experimented until we found a few flavor mixes we love.  There's always some in a tupperware near our cereals ready for breakfast or snacktime!

Homemade Granola
Set oven to 325F.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the following in a large bowl:
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3-4 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil (don’t skimp on the oil!)
Add one of the following spice mixes:
  1. 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 ½ tsp ginger, ½ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp nutmeg (my favorite mix)
  2. 1 ½ tsp ginger, ¾ tsp nutmeg (nice w/ coconut and dried tropical fruit)
  3. 2 Tbsp orange zest, 2 tsp cinnamon (nice w/ cranberries & pecan nuts)
Once that is all whisked together, fold in the following until thoroughly coated:
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (don’t use quick oats!)
2 cups mix of favorite dry ingredients, such as nuts, coconut, seeds
Options to add: (correlate with spice mixes A, B, C)
  1. A few options that go nicely with spice mix A.
    1. 1 cup shredded coconut, ½ cup sunflower seeds, ½ cup pumpkin seeds
    2. 2 cups slivered almonds
    3. 1 cup slivered almonds, 1 cup seeds
  2. 1 ½ cup shredded coconut, ½ cup almonds or cashews (optional)
  3. 2 cups pecans


Press the mix onto the cookie sheet until you’ve got an even layer.
Bake for ~ 25 – 30 minutes, until a light golden brown.  The darker it is, the crunchier and more toasted tasting.  I’d go for a happy medium.
Remove from oven and put pan on cooling rack.  Let cool 1 hr.
Break the granola into pieces (as big/small as you want).
Add 1-2 cups of dried fruit or mini chocolate chips (optional)
The key thing is to add these last. If you bake the fruit in, it will dry out.
Options to add:  (correlate with spice mixes A, B, C)
  1. A few options:
    1. 1-2 cups dried cranberries or blueberry-cranberries
    2. 1 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup mini chocolate chips
    3. 1-2 cups mix of raisens, craisens, & dried currents
  2. 1-2 cups dried mango or pineapple
  3. 1-2 cups dried cranberries
Granola with almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and yellow raisens. Yum!
Store in a sealed Tupperware or Ziploc baggie.  It will last nicely for 2 - 4 weeks.  Enjoy!

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