Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hop on the Granola Gondola

For the past 3-4 weeks the kids and I have been on this granola kick.  It all started with a bag of granola from the Birchwood Cafe.  This granola was stellar- big hunks of oats, maple syrup, and almonds with a hint of cinnamon.  The bag was gone before you could say "hippie".  

We wanted more, lots more.  But at $6.99 per pound (on sale) it was an expensive habit.  So I tried my hand at making my own granola.

Now, I know that making granola is easy.  I'd made it a few times in high school and it was pretty good.  But somehow I'd forgotten about making granola and resorted to paying for it.  And I feel like a total dufus for this.

Granola is super cheap!  And super good!  The kids want nothing else for breakfast and snacks (probably dinner, too, if I let them).  I just mix a little maple syrup in with some plain soy yogurt, top it with tons of granola, and usually give them a bit of fruit, too.  Me?  I always have a bag of it in my purse for those blood sugar emergencies that plague me.  The maple syrup and dried fruit give me the boost I need, but the protein and fat in the nuts keep me going strong without a crash later.

Here's the basic recipe I've been using- but be creative and add new ingredients!

Cinnamon-Nut Granola
Adapted from the Kind Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook

4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup maple syrup
Up to 2 cups of dried fruit of your choice

Preheat oven to 300F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.  Melt Earth Balance and stir in the maple syrup (I melt it in a little pyrex dish in the preheating oven).  Pour EB and maple mixture over the oats and mix until thoroughly moistened.  

Pour granola out onto the 2 baking sheets.  Bake the granola for 15 minutes.  Stir.  Bake another 15-20 minutes or until it is fragrant and lightly toasted- not brown.  It might seem a bit soft, but it will crisp up as it cools.  Allow to cool completely!

Then you can stir in some dried fruit if you'd like.  I leave it out because over yogurt I prefer fresh fruit, but in my purse stash I like raisins and cranberries.  So I just throw in some dried fruit as needed.  Store in an airtight container.  

Repeat every 5 days to feed your family's new addiction.


allularpunk said...

i have never in my life made granola. i've always wanted to, but somehow, never have. thanks for giving an awesome recipe for me to start with!

Cindy said...

I just made this granola, and it's absolutely delicious! I can tell it's gonna become a staple for me. Thanks!