Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Granola, and Lots of It

I'm on a granola kick. I never cared about the stuff before, but when I was in Florida, the cafe in our hotel offered yogurt parfaits. The things were layered with yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. I loved it.

So, when I got home, I bought all the ingredients and have been making a sort of parfait for breakfast ever since. But then I started thinking about making my own granola, not because it's necessarily better than stuff I can buy as long as I shop wisely but because I like to learn to make things I don't normally make. Once I bought kits for my kids to make their own chewing gum, chocolate bars and root beer. It was all nasty stuff, but it was a good experiment.

I started out with a granola recipe from Alton Brown. He uses maple syrup and vegetable oil to stick everything together (I chose honey instead of syrup), and he includes the usual things like oats, coconut, nuts and raisins. It was OK, but because the recipe suggests stirring every 10 minutes, you end up with a pile of dust.

Then I tried Martha Stewart's recipe (it follows). She uses butter instead of oil, and as we all know, everything is better with butter. I love this stuff even though I didn't have everything on hand like wheat germ and the seeds, and it goes great with organic vanilla yogurt and blueberries. And I have to admit, it's not a bad snack when mixed with some chocolate chips. I'll add to the butter rule—everything is better with chocolate.

For those of you who make your own granola, how do you do it, and what are your favorite ingredients?

Granola from Martha Stewart

Makes 6 1/2 cups

1/2 cup shredded coconut
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup honey
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup golden raisins

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and spread shredded coconut on top. Bake until toasted. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
2. Decrease oven temperature to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment; set aside. In a large bowl, toss together oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, stir together honey and butter; pour over oat mixture. Stir well. Spread onto sheets. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Break up granola; sprinkle with raisins and toasted coconut. Store in airtight container.


Shan said...

Funny that you mention it because I just saw the recipe I put below on a Frugal Friday post and thought I'd make it one of these evenings. Ever since I made and ate and ate salty sweet snack mix at G's bday party, I've been craving more more! Of course my waistband hasn't cared for this so I'm kind of afraid to be alone with a tasty granola now.

Yours (Martha's and Alton's both) sound even tastier with the butter and coconut and sesames-delish! Now I may have to hit the store again. :)

Here's the simple one I thought I'd try with cereal and oats:

Lazy Granola

Mix 1/2 cup each of brown sugar, oil, and honey in a saucepan.

Bring to a low boil.

Add 1 tsp. cinnamon and 2 tsp. vanilla.

Pour over 7 cups of oats(or a combo of different types of cereal) in a large pan.

Stir until coated.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Take out and stir. Put pan back in over, turn off, and go to bed

(I like the surprise in the morning part with this one. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's been a long time. I don't really remember the recipe, but I do remember it being fun.

Now I'm hungry.

lynn said...

What's granola? Like a muesli bar or something? Sounds yum whatever it is.

dive said...

You forgot the grit!
One simply cannot make granola without a handful of grit … at least not the granola they sell in my coffee bar.

Shazza said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh...I love granola and vanilla yogurt. I just found a great granola with flax and pumpkin seeds. (store bought because I'm too lazy to make my own)