Monday, October 11, 2010

From the Kitchen: Sweet Crunchy Granola

I had been wanting to make some granola for a while now, but recently my 6 year old asked me to make it and that was the motivation I needed to get going. I looked at a lot of recipes to get the basic idea, then came up with my own ideal combination of oats and extras to get the nutrition and taste I liked. I really wasn't sure it would turn out, but I'm pleased to say that it really, really did turn out... it's better than store-bought, and more nutritious as well. And it was easy!

Sweet Crunchy Granola
Makes about 8 cups


4 cups rolled oats
3 cups crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 cup freshly ground flax seed meal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease one large roasting pan. Mix oats, rice cereal, bran and flax seed meal in large bowl. In medium saucepan, combine sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Turn heat to medium and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, pour over oat mixture and stir to coat evenly. Spread mixture evenly in roasting pan and bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring well every 10-15 minutes to cook thoroughly. Continue stirring intermittently as it cools to ensure it doesn't harden in large clumps. When completely cool, store in an airtight container.

You may of course add dried fruit, toasted nuts or anything else you want, but I left most of mine "plain" because my kids are not into extras. I did make one bowl of it with pecans, raisins, pineapple, mango and coconut... it was delicious!

When my granola was ready, my 6 year old tasted it and told me she didn't like it... she said it was "not peanut buttery enough". I tried to explain that it had zero peanut butter in it. After clarifying what exactly she had been hoping for, I'm now on the hunt for a good peanut butter granola bar recipe...

*Update, even before publishing this post: So... this recipe has been queued for a while and, in the meantime, I ate all of my first batch. So, tonight I made another double batch. It just came out of the oven and for the last 5 minutes I just stood there, tempting the burn unit, snitching little bits of hot granola and stuffing my face. There's no one here to see the oaty bits stuck to my face and fingers. I deserve that sort of temporary bliss today, don't I? I mean, I did mow half the lawn before I had to stop to eat a snack then hide in the kitchen while my husband finished the back yard. And I did do some laundry which was really material for another project and nothing relating to the mounds of kid clothes waiting for the wash. And I worked really hard at the computer on Etsy stuff while putting off the more physically demanding aspects of creating goods to sell. Mmmm... hot cinnamony granola... well worth justifying :)


Anonymous said...

oh, yum! Where do you get your rolled oats?

Karen said...

I got mine from Sam's Club... a giant box of Quaker Oats. I like the thickest oats I can find, and these were quite good!

Anonymous said...

Is rolled oats the same thing as standard oatmeal (non-instant)? Like the ones you find in cylindrical cans at the grocery store?

Karen said...

Yes, rolled oats and "old-fashioned oats" are the same thing. But I wasn't 100% sure so I looked it up, and found a great food definition website that had this interesting definition of oats:

Fun fact of the day :) The nerd in me really enjoyed that!