Thursday, March 1, 2007

Plain Jane Granola

Jami found this recipe on one of her favorite craft blogs, Little Birds Handmade. It's been quite a success, and goes nicely with our homemade yogurt for breakfast. Our housemate LB has even started making her own. I've modified Little Birds' recipe in accordance with my own prejudices and imaginary morals.

  • 8 cups rolled oats, or 6 cups oats and 2 cups rolled barley
  • 2-3 cups seeds, nuts or other add-ins (it is a sin to make granola without coconut)
  • 1 cup maple syrup, honey, molasses, or combination of the three
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 cups dried fruit, your choice
  • a large bowl
  • a large cookie sheet or small pan
  • an oven preheated to 175˚C/350˚F, or a toaster oven
  • a really big spoon
  • a small saucepan
1. Mix the dry ingredients, minus fruit, in the bowl.
2. Heat the oil and sweetener together in a small saucepan until both are watery and well mixed. The first time I helped Jami make this my selective hearing cut out at this point. Heating the oil and sweetener aids adsorption by the dry ingredients. If you skip this step, even with just half the sweetener, the end product will be a sticky, rock-hard mass. Something like a granola popcorn ball.
3. Add vanilla and salt to the syrup mixture.
4. Mix the syrup into the dry ingredients until well coated.
5. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. If you use a toaster oven, divide your mixture into three or four batches, toasting each one for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
6. Allow granola to cool before mixing in the dried fruits.
7. Make some yogurt if you haven't already.

Options: Granola is great by the handful as a snack. If you eat it over sliced apples it will cure both depression and acid reflux (maybe). Jami likes sesame seeds in hers. My dad sprinkles ground flax seed over his. I've used orange juice as a sweetener, but it wasn't up to my standards. If anyone has any suggestions about OJ, I might give it a try again.

Eat your whole grains. They will contribute to a healthy and satisfying bowel movement.

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