Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Granola

It's nice to have a quick option for breakfast that's not just plain cereal. Plus, have you seen how kids inhale cereal? It's like you're feeding them air because mine at least will ask for something to eat within thirty minutes again. With a nut allergy in the house pretty much any storebought granola with natural ingredients is out of the question since nuts are a primary ingredient.

So I've tried making my own but have never really hit on the recipe. Something was always missing. Today I did what I always do when looking for recipe inspiration. I did a google image search for "best+granola+blog" and found this beautiful looking recipe on 64 sq ft kitchen that also sounded delicious. Granola is pretty straight forward, oats, nuts, sometimes wheat germ/flax, dried fruit and then a binding syrup of some sort. However, this recipe also included white whole wheat flour. I pounced on that. It's just like adding wheat germ (the outer part of the grain) but you're adding the whole grain inner and outer with the white wheat flour. Plus the flour absorbs the liquid and helps clump a bit. Clumpy granola means you can munch on it out of hand and I'm all over that.

I will admit to changing a few things. Hey, what can I say other than I'm a bossy first born. I change things when I think I know better (at least about our preferences) without giving it a second thought. I used half honey and half brown sugar, half butter and half coconut oil as well as subbing nutmeg for the cardamom. I only had the regular sweetened coconut so I used that, and sunflower seeds stood in for the nuts. I did reduce the amount of sunflower seeds to about 4 oz and made up for the difference with oats. It just seemed like a lot of seeds when I was weighing it out. Yes, I weighed the granola ingredients but in my defense this recipe is originally written for weights. Just makes things so much easier to dump into one bowl without getting a bunch of cups dirty.


Granola
adapted from 64 sq ft kitchen

11 oz rolled oats
1/4lb white whole wheat flour
2 oz sweetened, shredded coconut
2 oz flaxseeds
4 oz sunflower seeds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.


First weigh out the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, white wheat flour and flax seeds. Oddly enough my flax seeds are not kept around just for eating. I sometimes make flax seed hair gel, but I'll discuss that another day.

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Mix well and set aside. I know someone is wondering why leave the flax seed whole, and so did I. But the first bite I tasted, I realized that you crunch pretty thoroughly through granola more so than if you stirred the flax seed into something soft like yogurt. So our teeth do a pretty good job of breaking through the hull.

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In a two cup glass measure, dump in the honey . . .

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. . . the brown sugar . . .

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. . . and the water.

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Then add the butter, coconut oil . . .

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. . . salt, vanilla . . .

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. . . cinnamon and the nutmeg. Phew! I promise that's the last ellipsis of the day.

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Nuke the whole thing until the fats are melted and the sugar is dissolved. Give it a good stir.

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Then dump the whole gooey, sweet mess into the dry ingredients.

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Stir very well leaving no dry spots, then let the granola rest for 10 minutes. This gives the flour and oats a chance to absorb the syrup before baking.

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Imagine that there is a picture of the wet granola being poured out onto a parchment lined half sheet pan. My camera battery needed charging and I knew it was just a matter of time before this happened while I was shooting a recipe. Separate the granola into bite sized clumps and spread it out as evenly as possible. I did this with a butter knife, my tool of choice. Then place in the oven and bake until the granola is dry, stirring every 15 minutes. Warda says hers usually takes about 30-45 minutes but mine took closer to an hour and I suspect because of the honey. The granola will be a deep golden brown and again, have no obvious wet spots when you stir. However, it will still be soft, the crisping happens when the granola cools.

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Yum! I stole a taste, who am I kidding, several and it was delicious. Not too sweet, crunchy, varied texture and clumpy but not hard.

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I store mine in a large half gallon mason jar (holds 8 cups) and a little extra that didn't fit in a pint sized jar. On yogurt, with cold milk, warmed up with milk or just straight out of hand, granola is a great chameleon. Of course, if you let go of all delusion that it's a health food you can toss it on vanilla ice cream. Mmmmmm.

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2 comments:

SugarMama said...

Yum! I use a granola recipe from my parents that has wheat and oat bran in it. You might check it out on my blog - my dad made it so it has a ton of fiber. I like some of the elements of this recipe (especially the butter part, lol) so I'm going to try to combine them and see what I come up with.

Marielle said...

You're welcome. Thanks for sharing your version too. I'm definitely intrigued by the extra fiber and the molasses, will have to add that to mine as well.