Friday, May 20, 2011

A Simple Formula for DIY Granola


Granola is one of my many foodie obsessions. I have a couple of recipes on the blog already. For years I've been tweaking my approach. I've tried many different ingredients and different proportions of oil, liquid sweeteners, fruit purees, oats, nuts, and seeds. I've finally settled on a formula that produces a granola that I absolutely adore. It's crisp, flavorful, and lightly sweet. It is great by the handful, on top of yogurt, or eaten as a breakfast cereal.

Granola 101:
6 Cups of Old Fashioned Oats
3 Cups of Nuts/Seeds (My favorite combination is 1 cup each of pepitas, sunflower seeds, and finely shredded unsweetened coconut)
1/4 Cup Oil, plus extra for pans(I use olive oil)
1/2 Cup Liquid Sweetener (My favorite is carob molasses,* but honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar all work well)**
2 Tablespoons of Spice - optional(I like 1 Tablespoon each of Cinnamon and Ginger)
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 Cups of Dried Fruit - optional

*Carob molasses imparts a wonderful, complex, slightly chocolately flavor to the granola. I think it makes the granola extra-special and and extra-cravable! You can find carob molasses at Middle Eastern markets or online.
**If you like a sweeter granola, add additional sweetener, up to another 1/2 cup

Preparation:
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Coat two large sheet pans lightly with oil.
2) In a large bowl, combine the oats and nuts/seeds.
3) In a small bowl or large measuring cup, combine the oil, sweetener, spices, and salt.
4) Add the wet mixture to the oat mixture and stir (or use your hands like me) until the oats are evenly coated - the oat mixture will only be slightly "wet"
5) Spread the granola evenly on the two baking sheets.
6) Bake the granola for 15 minutes, remove the sheets from the oven, stir the granola. Return the sheets to the oven, rotating them so the one previously on the upper shelf of the oven is now on the lower shelf and vice versa. Cook the granola another 15 minutes. Turn the oven off, leaving the door closed for 30 minutes.
7) Remove the sheets from the oven and allow to cool completely (if the granola is not crunchy bake another 15 minutes). After the granola is cooled you can add dried fruit if you like. I prefer to eat mine with fresh fruit, especially this time of year when berries are abundant!

As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, and Nifty Thrifty Sunday.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

I am also including this as part of this month's SOS kitchen challenge - the secret ingredient is carob! I can't wait to see all the other entries, because I'm still a bit of a newbee when it comes to cooking with carob.

16 comments:

  1. I keep meaning to make granola but I never do! This looks and sounds great!

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  2. I've never heard of carob molasses--it sounds spectacular! Would love to give it a try. Thanks so much for your submission to the SOS Challenge this month! :)

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  3. Love granola and this recipe looks delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    I haven't heard of the carob molasses either, I wonder where I can find it.

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  4. Debbi - I hope you get to try this out, it is quite tasty and simple. It's also a lot cheaper and healthier than most store brought granola.

    Ricki - My husband is Persian, so we frequent middle eastern markets, one day I spotted it on the shelf and decided to buy it. It is also great mixed with Tahini as a spread - it is often eat this way in Lebanon.

    Jenna - Thanks! I always buy my carob molasses at a middle eastern market in Chicago, but I put a link to some available through amazon - you have to buy quite a lot, but it's on sale for a really great price right now!

    - Ashlie (blogger is acting very odd today and no matter how many times I sign in it won't let me post a comment, grrr)

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  5. This granola recipe looks great. I too have been working to find the perfect granola so I will have to give this a shot. I wanted to invite you to come by and share your granola recipe at These Chicks Cooked Recipe Spotlight. Have a blessed day!
    Katie

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  6. Katie - Thanks so much for stopping by, we'd love to hear your feedback if you give the recipe a try, and we'd love to share our recipe on your blog!

    -Ashlie (blogger still isn't letting me leave comments, is anyone else having this problem?)

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  7. Hello,

    I love your recipes. I don't know if this is out of line but I cannot find a search bar on your website. Is there one? If not can I suggest one? I would love to easily be able to find the other granola recipes or earlier today I had to dig back through page to find the broccoli chowder (which is awesome!)

    Thanks for all your work.

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  8. Am definitely going to give this a try!!!

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  9. I just made this and loved it! I tweaked it a bit to make it more trail mix like for this weekend where me and my sweetie will be trompsing around in the woods. Its wonderful.

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  10. Nerissa - Thanks for suggesting I add a search feature, it truly hadn't even crossed my mind! I'm so glad you tried out the recipe and loved it - it has become my go to late night snack with a little almond milk, yum! Have fun in the woods!

    Trisha - You certainly should and please let us know what you think if you do :)

    Cheers, Ashlie

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  11. Hi you two!
    I love the new look of your blog! This granola would be delicious. I just love a little granola with my yogurt in the morning. Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!

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  12. Yeah, I love to make granola at home too, just started recently. I gotta try your lovely recipe soon. Thanks for sharing.

    BTW, I'm hosting a little Giveaway on my blog. Please stop by to enter when you have a chance. Here's the link: http://utry.it/2011/05/hong-kong-macau-and-australia-trippart.html

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Amy
    http://utry.it

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  13. Thanks Miz Helen! I love it with yogurt too.

    Amy - We're so glad you stopped by and we're very excited to check out your blog!

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  14. I could snack on your granola all day long. Thanks for linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday.

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  15. Hmm.. Looks yummy! Thank you so much for linking this up with {nifty thrifty sunday} last week!
    I hope to see you again tomorrow!
    xoxo,
    Vanessa

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  16. Dear Vanessa - Thank you and we're headed over to link up right now :)

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