Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Feeling Crunchy...

One of the many items on my to-do list this weekend was to make another batch of granola. I know, I know, I promise I haven't gone off the deep end, granola is actually really easy to make, and it stores very well. I started making it awhile back, and have had fun experimenting with different additions and methods. The nice thing is that you can make a big batch and store it for months, so you really only have to do this every so often. Unless you eat insane amounts of granola, which I don't.

My granola is pretty much only for my breakfast, which I am proud to say I've finally mastered. It's hard to come by a breakfast that is tasty, healthy, and will keep you full until lunch. Maybe it is just me, but I am always hungry in the mornings and am pretty much guaranteed to be starved by 11:55. Anyway, I combine oatmeal (I just use plain oats - it's just as easy as that instant stuff without the sugars), yogurt (plain or vanilla - woo am I exciting!), and my homemade granola. Sounds bizarre, but the three textures are great together and there is so much whole grain goodness that I can survive until noon. I recommend trying it sometime.

Anyway, back to the granola. I sort of guess on how to make it (it's hard to follow anyone's specific recipe, because if you are making it yourself, you want to do it your own way, right?). I generally use about 2 cups of plain oats (rolled, not steel-cut, but sometimes I do a mix of the two), along with sliced almonds and walnuts (1/2 cup each). Spread them all out on a baking sheet and then pour a mixture of honey and vegetable oil on top. Use enough so that the oats and nuts can all get covered onces tossed - probably about 3/4 cup total (1/4 honey, 2/4 oil). Bake this at 350 for 30-40 minutes, tossing once or twice, until golden brown.

Once you remove the tray, toss in dried fruits - I like to use a mixture of cranberries, golden raisins, blueberries, dates, really anything. Then, let it all cool, and the mixture will go from soft and sticky to dried and crispy. Store in jars or ziplocs.

The thing about making granola, though, is really to experiment. Try all different kinds of nuts and seeds (try coconut or flax), different dried fruits (apricots?), different sweeteners (you can use maple syrup, melted butter...), etc. Just make it so it tastes good. Oh, and don't burn it. That's never good. Not that I know from experience, or anything...


  1. I like to use maple syrup melted together with butter and cinnamon... mmm....

  2. Ha! Thanks for the reminder - I just realized that I forgot to add cinnamon not only to my description, but to the batch I made this weekend. Whoops!


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