Friday, April 5, 2013

Weekend Project - Granola

As mentioned in my "About Us" introduction, usually I like recipes that are long and complicated.  Good recipes are like favorite songs, you feel the rhythm in your body and get lost in the details.

However, sometimes I like a good recipe that whips up easily, and is forgiving of "mistakes", especially if it is one I make often.  Jen's recipe for homemade yogurt is something I'm excited to try, since I recently began to make my own granola.  It started as an experiment, "Can I be a person who makes granola?"

"What kind of person even does that?  Do I have to buy a pair of hand whittled clogs and wear bandanas all day?"  Well, I do like bandanas.

It was almost accidental.  I just happened to have some end-of-the-bag-bits. I had oats, sunflower seeds, honey, almonds, and pecans.  And I impulsively bought  this beautiful cookbook, The Homemade Pantry, when browsing Amazon one day.  And huzzah, it contained a perfectly lovely recipe for granola!

But it called for raw almonds (which were not in my cabinet), contained sesame seeds (which I only like under very specific conditions), AND it made an ENORMOUS batch!  I am prone to failure on first and second tries so this seemed like pretty bad bet.  I adjusted her recipe a bit to fit the dregs of what I had in my cabinet.  I rushed into things joyfully (rather than planfully) so I had to make a few adjustments as I went.  But wow, the recipe was forgiving, and delicious, on the first try....which is a pretty big deal for me.

We eat this for breakfast dry, with milk, on yogurt, with and without fruit, between meals, and with chocolate chips as dessert.  It goes fast.

10 minutes mixing
1.5 hours baking
6-8 hours drying time

Kitchen Tools
One large bowl, one medium bowl, A whisk,10" dry pan,chopping implement, measuring cups, measuring spoons, large spoon or spatula, parchment paper,17x11 ish rimmed baking sheet

Dry Ingredients
5 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 Tbl ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups nuts - toasted and roughly chopped (I typically use almonds and pecans, but walnuts and hazelnuts are great too.)

Because granola is perfectly customizable to the leftovers in your cabinet, consider the following:
1/2 tea nutmug
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds / pepitas (for iron!)
2 Tbl Almond meal (If you make homemade almond milk this is a great way to use the by-product, Almond Meal)

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
5/8 cup of canola oil (I use 1/4 + 1/8 because it makes me feel healthier than using 1/2 - but you do what works!)
1 Tbl vanilla extract
1 tea almond extract

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 250 degrees F

STEP 2: Toast nuts in a dry pan on medium high for about 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally until nuts smell fragrant.  Chop them roughly.

STEP 3: Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisk wet ingredients in a medium bowl.  When the wet ingredients have formed a luscious golden syrup, pour over dry ingredients and mix well.

STEP 4: Line large rimmed baking sheet (about 17x11) with parchment paper.  Spread granola mixture evenly and press firmly with hands, or spoons, or plates, anything to get that stuff packed in there!

STEP 5: Set timer for 30 minutes.  Rotate sheet, do not stir even if tempted!
*Bake for 30 minutes, rotate again.
*Bake for a final 30 minutes.
*Turn off oven, keep door shut, and allow granola to crisp overnight (if you have created this magic in the evening) or for 6 hours (If you are ambitious enough to have created this during daylight hours!)

STEP 6: If you have allowed your granola to dry overnight, you will have perfectly fresh-crispy-sweet-salty-protien-fiber-deliciousness for breakfast.


  1. I've been looking for another easy granola recipe to try-2 years of the same recipe gets a little old, though we still love it. You might also like Meghan's Granola