Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mix & Match Granola



Warm, spice-infused fruits and grains wafting through your home will transport all there to a heavenly bed and breakfast. :) I admit it's hard for me to pay 7 bucks for a puny, cold (albeit tasty) bag of granola in the store knowing it's so easy to make my own scrumptious version in minutes flat, and a LOT of it for cheap (you can buy organic grains and dried fruit in the bulk section of the health food store for pennies).

What I like about this particular recipe is that it's changeable--you can mix and match the ingredients depending on what's on hand. It lasts for weeks in an airtight container so it's on-hand and ready to enjoy.

Mix and Match Granola


4 cups rolled oats, wheat, or barley (any combination)
½ cup sunflower or sesame seeds
½ cup honey, maple syrup, or a thick syrup made with ½ cup brown sugar and 2-3 tablespoons water
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla and/or other extract
¾ cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
½ cup nuts (optional)
½ teaspoon salt

(other possible ingredient ideas: flax seeds, coconut flakes, figs, dates, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, and on and on and on...:))

Directions:


1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together except for the dried fruit. Set the dried fruit aside.
2. In another bowl mix the sweetener, oil and extract together.
3. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. The liquids will be absorbed and the granola will become darker and shinier.
4. Spread the granola in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 325°F for 25 to 35 minutes or until fairly dry and starting to brown. Stir every ten minutes while it is baking to keep the granola on the bottom from burning.
5. Remove the granola from the oven and stir in the fruit.

Tips


1. Granola will become crispier and crunchier as it cools. Let it sit a bit before removing from pan--that way the grains will cool into nice clumps. :) Cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.
2. If storing at room temp, use within a couple of weeks. It will last for six months or longer in the freezer.

2 comments:

Jessica Martiele said...

Payday for my hubby is this Saturday, at which point I'm going directly to Henry's and getting a big fat combination of all of the things you suggested. I'm stoked. Granola was always totally overwhelming to me to make, but this is proof that good granola (in mass quantity, the way I LIKE IT!) is only 45 minutes and a few dollars away! THANKS!!!

flappergirl said...

Jessica, the idea of making my own granola came from a short stint I had as a bed & breakfast worker to support myself as a college student. The extremely successful B&B mansion owner was a real tightwad (we were only allowed to use 1 tsp. of laundry detergent per load!). She made granola for pennies to save money. But it was truly delicious, and so I decided to try it at home to keep from being a starving artist. It turned out to be a total win-win situation: The B&B guests were thrilled at the delicious breakfast offering, the owner was happily pinching her pennies, and I had a new recipe to add to my growing collection of loving yummies on a family budget!

 
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