8.16.2008

Boring Granola...plus an extra

This is my recipe for "boring granola." I don't want to imply anything negative with the word boring since that is how I like my granola and it is easy enough to complicate it with lots of extras, I just wanted to be upfront about it. This is very loose recipe so it might take you a few batches to find out what you like best.

Boring Granola:
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cups oil - I use coconut
  • 1/2 cup sweetener - I typically go with 1/4 c. brown sugar and 1/4 c. honey. I like how the honey evenly coats the oats but I like the texture of the brown sugar. I've used 1/2 c. honey before and it works, but I prefer this mix.
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla - I know this sounds like a lot but I really love vanilla and it is spread over 4 cups of oats. But you could use less if you are a wimp. Just don't leave it out, please.
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon - I looked at a lot of recipes before coming up with this combination and only one had any spice in it but I think that is a shame. Don't worry about it being all spicy and weird, the flavors are really subtle. If you wanted a really cinnamon-y cereal, you would want to increase that even more
  • Extras: Nuts, raisins, craisins, dried apples, sunflower seeds, wheat germ - I've used dried fruits and nuts and really liked them, and I saw in our new grocery store unsweetened coconut which I am anxious to try, before I could only find sweetened which I didn't want.
Mix oil, honey and vanilla. Pour over oats, cinnamon and any extras you want to back and mix thoroughly. Personally, I like to add any extras other than nuts a bowl at a time since I not only eat this granola for breakfast but also on my ice cream and raisins in my ice cream doesn't sound appetizing. Also, if you add dried fruit, you are supposed to soak them before hand and it seems silly to soak something so you can dry it out. If I end up getting the coconut, I'll probably add that before hand.

Pour on cookie sheets or 9x13 pans. I use two pans so I can keep it a thin layer. Bake at 250 for 2-3 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes. I stir frequently to break up any clumps. (Another reason this is boring is that it isn't clumpy.) I know some people like clumpy granola and I've heard that if you add about 1/2 cup of water and squeeze it before baking, you can form clumps. That's just a rumor though, I have no direct knowledge as I avoid clumps.

So that's what I do and I think it's tasty. I really like it with yogurt and fruit in the morning. Or with ice cream and my super easy berry sauce. Since I mentioned it, I will include that in this post but it barely qualifies as a recipe:

Berry Sauce:
  • Frozen berries (strawberry is my favorite but mixed is good too)
  • Sugar
  • Water
In a small saucepan, heat the berries and sugar (for the two of us, I probably use 1 or 2 tsp sugar and 1/2 cup berries). You may need to add a tablespoon of water to keep the berries from burning before they get soft and juicy. Reduce for about 5 minutes into to a sauce, smooshing the big berries down. It never gets syrupy thick like a store bought sauce, just nice and light and fruity. Cool for a few minutes so you don't melt your ice cream. Eat with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and a couple spoonfuls of granola - delish!

Try both and let me know what changes you make and what your results were. I would love to have any feedback.

4 comments:

Amanda said...

Yay! Thank you! I've made some simlar to your recipie, but it only has you cook the granola for 10 minutes. I'm not sure why, the huge time difference. Adding the raisins later is a great idea!

jess said...

i'm going to make this today. i have all the stuff!

i wonder what your spaghetti sauce recipe is like - is it a secret? i'd like to compare it to my own...

jess said...

so my granola just came out of the oven - it's been kid-tested and it's a hit!! i used half vanilla, half almond extract (i ran out of vanilla) and i added cashews, sliced almonds and sweetened coconut. i forgot to put in the cinnamon - i was working from memory - oops!

not only do i have some delicious granola, i cleaned out my pantry, too. we love oatmeal so much here that i often buy it at sam's club.

MacKenzie said...

Amanda - that is weird...what temperature do you bake it at?

Jess - I'll have to post my recipe soon, and I'm glad you liked the granola. I hadn't thought about using a different kind of extract but the almond sounds tasty.