January 19, 2012

making granola!!

i am not a vegan green smoothie holistic eater.
we do eat healthy- just not super, super healthy.
but, boxed/bagged cereal bugs me.
it just seems so unhealthy and processed.
i LOVE homemade granola.
it tastes good.
it feels healthy.
it seems REAL.
i am happy every time i pour a bowl for me or my kids.

what you need to buy:
oats-- regular not quick (but i use quick if that's all i have)
coconut-- (if you go to a health food store you can get really small un-sweetened coconut- good if your kids don't like coconut.  i just use regular from the bulk section because it seems the freshest to me.)
nuts-- i like to put in almond pieces or cashews or pecans.
seeds-- i like to get pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, etc.
brown sugar-- my favorite comes from the bulk foods section, it tastes more like molasses
real maple syrup-- i like pure maple syrup or molasses or honey to sweeten it with.

think about the granola you buy-- sometimes i do cinnamon raisin or craisin almond or french vanilla or i add cut up dried apricots or apples or strawberries...  actually, my kids don't like fruit in it, so i buy it and we add it separately.

I started with this recipe from Kelsey's Granola here... thanks Melissa.
and i stole it made it my own.

Kelsey's Jen's Favorite Granola
6 cups oats (regular work better than quick)
3/4 cup honey or pure maple syrup or a smaller amount of molasses
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbs cinnamon (depending on your preference- i like less)
2 Tbs vanilla
1 cup coconut 
1 cup craisins, raisins, or other dried fruit (my kids pick out the raisins so we just add them when we eat it.)
1/2 cup brown sugar (or less!)
1/2 cup almonds (or any other nuts you have-- i get the crushed up kinds and really just throw whatever i have in my pantry into it.)
1/2 cup flax seed or wheat germ or pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds or sesame seeds...

Combine all ingredients in a LARGE bowl. 
Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 10-30 minutes, or until golden brown. 

I never follow that recipe exactly...
i just wing it...
granola is a good DUMP for a lot of the nuts/seeds that you have lying around.
granola is VERY forgiving.
i do always add the oil and i always add some sugar (not always what the recipe calls for).
i like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds more than flax and wheat germ.

and that's it...
i always double the recipe.
spread it out on two cookie sheets and bake it.
i like my granola CRISP-- so i bake it longer (until it gets a little bit brownish).
i want it crisp because later we add it to yogurt or milk and i don't want it soggy too fast.
i always worry that it's burnt and then when i eat it i think it's perfect. 

NOTE-- you know me by now.
i am ridiculous at making decisions.
i read HUNDREDS of granola recipes before i tried to make it the first time.
i even loved this recipe and still tried a few more labor intensive recipes because they promised to be the "best ever".
this simple, easy recipe really is PERFECT every time.
i love it.
just try it-- you'll be so glad you did.

i just saw this recipe for Granola cookies-- yes please!!
this recipe is from The Brown Eyed Baker... 
i just copied and pasted it on my blog so it would be easier for you to find.  
hope i'm not going to go to copyright jail after this post.

 Granola Cookies
Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Bake Time: 12 minutes
3 cups granola, without the fruit or nuts
¾ cup raisins (regular or golden)
½ cup peanuts
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup wheat germ
14 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats; set aside.
2. Put the granola in a large bowl and break up any clumps with your fingers. Add the raisins, peanuts, almonds, coconut and wheat germ and mix together.
3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until creamy. Add the egg and salt and beat until well blended. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, mixing only until it is incorporated, then steadily add the granola mixture. Stop the mixer when most of the granola mixture is blended into the batter and finish the job with a sturdy rubber spatula, making sure to get up any bits of dry ingredients left in the bottom of the bowl.
4. Scoop out about two tablespoonfuls of dough, pack the scoops between your palms and arrange the mounds on the baking sheets. Flatten the mounds lightly with your fingertips.
5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should be golden brown but not firm. Allow them to rest on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool to room temperature. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
i'm totally making them.

homemade granola is one of my FAVORITE things in the whole world.
i know.  simple pleasures for simple people.

um.  i would also find joy in a really cute rain jacket...
like this.
just saying.
so good.


Alison said...

Oh that looks so very yummy! I'm printing it off right now! I made homemade granola a long long time ago. It's about high time to do it again! I'm one of those moms that lets my kids eat cold cereal all the time (I try not to get the sugar stuff) but I still feel guilty because my mom made a hot breakfast everyday. So this will make me feel not so guilty! Thanks for sharing!

And wouldn't you be a cute mom in one of those rain coats! Do it! :)

valerie in TX said...

Do you have a recipe for GOOD granola BARS? I've tried to make them, and they tasted delicious but they fell apart. You know me - eat on the run - so we HAVE to have some that stay together!

Harmony said...

I am so excited to try out this granola recipe!!! Thanks!

You and Valerie (above) should try these out for on the go. I just mad them this week... not bad.


Handsfullmom said...

I've been looking for a good granola recipe -- my mom used to make it often -- so I'm going to try this! Thanks.

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