Friday, April 16, 2010

Granola - Episode 1

Making homemade granola is quick and easy. And the best part is, the result is a crunchy, delicious final product that’s great for snacking and breakfast. Gone are the days of break-your-tooth crunchy, store-bought granola!

This spring I was at an artisan’s market and came across folks selling homemade, organic granola. It was delicious, so we bought a bag. After bringing it home and analyzing the ingredients, I realized I could make my own granola. I looked at a few recipes online to get an idea of the general “how-to”, but I’ve never been much of a recipe follower.

Here’s basic Granola ala Kate:

5 (or so) cups of oats

1-2 cups of sliced almonds

1/3 c. of vegetable oil

½ c. of honey

2 tsp. vanilla

A few shakes of cinnamon (about 1 tsp.)

A few shakes of nutmeg (about 1 tsp.)

A few pinches of salt (about ½ tsp.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. If the mixture looks too dry, add some more honey. Spread mixture onto ungreased baking sheet or dish (you may need to divide the mixture onto 2 sheets or dishes). Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until golden brown throughout. Let cool completely and store in gallon-sized Ziploc bags.

Once you have this basic mixture, you can mix in your favorite dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, or apricots.

Don’t have almonds? You can substitute just about any nut. Try chopped (unsalted) peanuts, pecans, cashews, or walnuts.

Other substitutes:

Corn or sunflower oil can be used instead of vegetable oil.

Try replacing honey with maple syrup.

My first attempt at making my own granola was a great success! I’ll continue to post updates to this recipe as I get creative with granola!

The finished product:

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