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.
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
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.