Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Granola


When I was in college in the mid 1970’s, natural food stores, co-op’s and bulk foods were all just beginning to appear in my upstate New York college town.  Since I was interested in food and nutrition, I would frequent these stores and try some of the staples.  Granola, in bulk, was a main stay, but I never thought it was any good and I had a problem with bulk food and all the hands going into the bin that had been who knows where!  I quickly switched to the more traditional cereals available.  Fast forward to the last 10-15 years, when my teenaged, and now adult, sons, started eating granola.  Being the good mom, I would purchase all types of granola and ask their opinion, since I still thought granola was tasteless, or too sweet, or cardboard like in texture.  They would say they liked this one or that, and I would buy it, though I still did not like it.  Then, this past year, we were in Oakland, visiting two of our sons and their girlfriends, and we went to breakfast at a lovely spot, and there was homemade granola.  Suddenly, a light went off in my head!  Why not make homemade granola?  I had never even considered the possibility of making it, but I set to work, checking out different recipes.  The one I came up with and adapted was made by Alton Brown, from The Food Network.  It is crunchy, delicious and not too sweet.  You can also change the types of nuts and dried fruits you might add, leaving the amounts the same.  I’ll never go back to store bought granola again.



Recipe after the jump

Granola
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown 
Cook Time:    1 hr 15 min 
Level: Easy 
Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients: 
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup maple syrup (a generous 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
½  teaspoon salt

1 cup raisins
  
Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Place parchment paper or use ‘silpats’ on 2 sheet pans.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.  Hold raisins until AFTER cooking.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and spread onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

Store in air tight container.


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