Saturday, February 5, 2011


Yes, we make our own granola around here. Why? Because by making it myself I get more variety and more control over the ingredients, texture, and taste. It’s fast and easy, faster and easier than making cookies, and it’s good and good for you! Smells good too.
Like most everything I cook, it’s more of a strategy, formula, and technique than a recipe.

As always I start by asking, “What am I in the mood for, what ingredients do I have, and what needs to get eaten?”

So here’s the strategy, formula, and technique. The proportions are more or less, give or take:

Decide on the flavors you want. I tend to prefer a few harmonious flavors to a whole bunch of everything.

Preheat oven to 375

Put 3 c “old fashioned” rolled oats into a big bowl. If you’ve got quick cooking, they’ll do, but will cook more quickly the texture will be a little different.
½ c nuts, one kind or mixed, such as pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews. You can add a few tablespoons of wheat germ, sesame, sunflower or other seeds if you like. If you’ll be using tropical fruits, coconut is nice.

In a small bowl or Pyrex measuring cup mix together
1/3 – ½ c oil, I like a canola or vegetable oil, but sometimes other oils like nut oils or olive oil are interesting.
1/3 – ½ c honey or other sweetener. I like to use honey because it makes the granola kind of sticky, as does dark or light corn syrup, if you don’t mind using it, or molasses. Maple syrup, brown sugar, turbanado sugar and white sugar are all fine too.
Make your choice of which oil and sweetener to use based on the kinds of nuts, fruit, and flavoring you’ll use.
Pour on oats and nuts and mix thoroughly.

Spread out on two cookie sheets, making sure that it’s not too crowded.
Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes, stirring every 3 or 4 minutes, moving the browned oats and nuts from the outer edges to the center and the lighter oats and nuts from the center to the edges. Keep a close eye on it; it browns quickly at the end!
Remove from oven, and give it a stir while it’s still hot.
After it has cooled for a minute or two, return to large bowl and add:

½ c dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots, apples, pears, prunes, figs, dates, papaya, mango, pineapple
1 T flavoring, such as vanilla, almond, lemon, orange, etc, extract. Flavored liqueurs or other spirits can be good too.

This batch has walnuts, blueberries, cranberries, and vanilla.

Mix well, and stir every few minutes as it cools. When cool, sore in airtight container for as long as it lasts!

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