Saturday, October 25, 2014

Homemade Granola

Most mornings, I awaken to 2 cups of coffee in a very large polka-dotted mug.  Add a splash of milk and hazelnut creamer and I'm good to go for about 2 hours. Breakfast is cup of vanilla yogurt, a handful of raspberries (fresh/frozen) and for crunch...granola.  It's like dessert for breakfast.

Store bought granola is expensive and fattening.  I can make a large batch of granola for less than a $1...seriously.  And it is yummy!  My daughter goes through a batch every other day.

GRANOLA - basic recipe
pre-heat oven to 325˚F

1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tsp vanilla extract
cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup unbleached flour (can use wheat flour, or bleached flour)
Optional: 2 cups nuts, dried fruit, etc.

Combine maple syrup, brown sugar and oil into a large bowl.  Stir until the brown sugar is dissolved (no lumps).  Add vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon (optional).  I like cinnamon, so I'd guess at least 2 teaspoons (1 tsp in the liquid, 1 tsp after mixing the dry ingredient(s).  

Fold in the rolled oats and flour.  Remember! old fashioned rolled oats.  Not the instant oats.  Not the steel-cut oats.  Old fashioned rolled the kind that has the Quaker on the front of the box.  

After thoroughly coating the oats with the oil/sugar mixture, you can add nuts, dried fruit, or a combo of the two.

Dump mixture into a sheet cake pan that has either been buttered/floured or sprayed with baking spray.  Pat down the mixture so that it is even throughout the pan.  

Lick hands.  Wash hands...with soap.  

Place baking pan in the oven (middle rack) for 40-45 minutes.  Halfway through the baking, rotate the pan 180˚ and finish the last half of baking.  

Take out of oven and let cool.  Break off a corner of the granola as it is cooling...come know you want to!  

Once cool, break granola into chunks and place in airtight container (mason jar with clamp).  Granola will keep for up to 2 weeks, but you'll be baking a batch in about 2 days!

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