Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm So Granola!

Ok, not really.  Who am I kidding?  But I do love granola.  Crunchy, sweet, filling...yum! 

Have you ever noticed how expensive a box of basic granola cereal is, though?  And don't even get me started on the gourmet stuff.  Plus, most store-bought granolas include nuts or nut oils, which are a no-no in this house.

Soooooo...I've scoured the world wide web, tinkered and adjusted, guesstimated and combined, and I now present you with a tested-in-my-kitchen recipe for basic homemade granola.

Basic Granola

6 cups quick oats (one canister)
1½ sticks unsalted butter, melted (As Paula Deen says, "I'm your cook, not your doctor.")
½ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Optional stir-ins: nuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl, stir together wet ingredients until well-blended. Pour over oats in greased roasting pan. {If using nuts or seeds, mix them in now.} Stir until oats are thoroughly coated with wet mixture. Bake on center rack for 30 minutes, then stir. Return to oven and continue baking in 15 minute increments, stirring in between, until mixture is golden/light brown throughout. Entire baking time should be 1 to 1½ hours. Cool completely. {If using dried fruit, mix it in after granola is completely cooled.} Granola will become much crisper as it cools. Store in airtight container for up to a week or freeze in plastic bag.

Notes:
~I only stirred in dried cranberries, so I can't attest to the success of the other suggestions, but they showed up over and over in various web-found recipes.
~This granola will not be clumpy.  Each oat will be loose.  I found I actually preferred this, as it was easier to eat as cereal, but it may not be as good for a dry granola snack.  If anyone knows how to achieve clumpiness, pray tell!

Go indulge your granola self!

6 comments:

Ole Miss Mom said...

Granola IS so expensive! Sounds like a great recipe! I may have to try it because I have A LOT of oatmeal left over from having to get huge cans of oatmeal (emptied) for the kids to take to school for a project!!! That's a lot of oatmeal to pour out!

Aunt Betty said...

I would think that by taking more butter and brown sugar then adding the made granola and cooking it should form a caramel thus making it clump.

BettieBoyd said...

See, an improved recipe from Aunt Betty already! This sounds good.

MeeRan said...

I'm finally catching up on your blog! Thanks for sharing the granola recipe - it's similar to the one I have, which I'll forward in an email.

Poor little Andrew! I've heard eczema can be triggered by a lack of zinc (along with a hundred other theories). I bought gummy vitamins for Caiden and give hime one a day (cut up into four pieces). Also, we use California Baby skin care products and although Caiden hasn't had issues with sensitive skin, several of my friends say the line has helped with eczema. They recommend the "calming" line. We use the shampoo/body wash and the calendula cream for dry patches and it works wonders.

I'm glad you got the extra freebies from Safeway, especially since they always seem to overcharge you! Love that you got Funyuns! Hope to see you soon!

Sarah Rose said...

We LOVE granola at our house, and we've figured out a few tricks over the past year or so of making it.
- More honey/brown sugar will help make clumpier granola. Also, the more you stir, the "looser" the granola will be.
-Shredded coconut is a great addition, even for coconut haters -- you can't even tell it's there!
-A raisin/cranberry combo is great - I'm not sure if that's an allergy alert for you guys, though!
-We hate heating up the kitchen just to make granola. You can actually do this in your crock pot! I use a variation of this recipe (http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/11/crockpot-granola-recipe.html) and you just want to look for everything to look "toasty". It will also crisp as it cools.

We are addicted to granola around here, and we especially love it with yogurt. My husband adds some cheerios to his, which adds a fun texture.

J said...

Granola is a staple around here. We eat it ALL THE TIME! So glad you've found a recipe that works for little Andrew. My recipe doesn't use butter or brown sugar...I bet yours tastes a lot better! :) I just might have to do some tinkering of my own.