Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Grand-ola




I don't know why I don't make this more often. I LOVE granola. Love it. I love it plain as a snack, I love it with a little milk for breakfast, I love it on ice cream. But most of all, I love homemade granola mixed with plain yogurt. The crunchy, slightly sweet, slightly nutty goodness melds perfectly with the tartness of a good plain yogurt. Depending on the granola I have, I also love a handful of fresh fruit tossed in. Bananas or blueberries come to mind specifically. So today when I saw a large bag of a dried Cherry-Berry blend, I knew I had to buy it and make granola with it.

I have seen my share of granola recipes. Some of them are really complicated, and the list of ingredients is huge. I like mine simple. My go to recipe is one by Kathleen Daelemans of Cooking Thin fame. I really enjoyed her show when it was on FoodTV. Occasionally I will catch it at an odd time, but mostly I think it is off the air, which is a shame because she has a fantastic approach to smart and healthy cooking. But I digress.

Her granola could not be easier, and you can add what you like to it. My favorite blend includes pecans and dried blueberries. But sometimes I will use walnuts, sometimes almonds, and the dried fruit options are endless. I'm sure if you wanted to you could add some shredded coconut, and occasionally I will add a pinch of cinnamon to the simple syrup. And while the simple syrup is made with water, I suppose you could use a fruit juice instead. Use orange juice and add dried cranberries. Or use apple juice and add some cinnamon and some dried apples. Use your imagination. So here is her recipe, use it and make it your own.

Crunchy Granola

1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups rolled oats
2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, or slivered almonds
dried fruit, if desired

Preheat oven to 275ยบ F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and reserve. Combine brown sugar and water in a 4-cup microwave proof glass measuring cup or bowl. Place in microwave on high for 5 minutes and cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from microwave, add vanilla extract and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, and brown sugar syrup mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Spread the granola onto cookie sheets and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and crunchy. When the mixture comes out of the oven, it is still very pliable. You may choose to add in dried fruit as a finishing touch at this time. When granola has cooled completely, store in an airtight container.

3 comments:

Lizzy said...

YAY!!! I have a yummy recipe for granola!!! THANKS!!! :):):)

Ana said...

Hi!!
I love granola too, it is sooo good and yummy!!
Like you, I enjoy mine best with plain yogurt and fruits, there is no better breakfast than that!
I have tried this recipe and it is really good, and I also enjoyed the Cooking Thin show! Oh, and her book is also nice, have you seen that? There is a chicken burger recipe that is delicious!
I tried an apple-cinnamon granola the other day that I really liked, take a look at my blog, you may like that recipe too!
Nice blog!
Ana

Teresa said...

Mmmm, thank you. I love cranberries, almonds and pecans in my granola. I'm going to incorporate them into this recipe here.