Friday, February 15, 2013

The Granola Itch!

I've got the itch.  The granola itch!  I used to buy my granola but it's so darned expensive! Also, might I add, it's definitely not as good as when you make it yourself.  Making granola is easy.  REALLY EASY.  If you're like me then you will have a lot of different things that might spiff up your granola in your pantry, just get out the rolled oats and you're ready. I got so into making granola that I recently purchased a bulk 25 lb bag of rolled oats.  Yes, that's a lot of granola!

Granola makes a great gift too!  During he holidays I put some in little bags added a ribbon and gave it to friends.  Once you get the hang of making it, you can adjust flavor, throw in this or that or even make granola bars to put in your kids lunch box,  easy peasy.

Since we finished the last of our last batch of granola this morning I new it was time to make another, so I decided to share my granola obsession with you of course!  When I first made the "crunchy stuff", I followed a recipe from one of my favorite cook books, Good To The Grain by Kim Boyce.  I've baked just about half the items from her cook book and I'd say almost every one of her recipes has been amazing.  If you like to bake with whole grain flours, this is the cook book for you!  

So, the following recipe is definitely inspired by her seeded Granola, however, I always tweak it according to what I have available to me at the moment.  I tend to keep a lot of seeds, nuts and dried fruit, all of which make wonderful additions to granola.  Here is what I did today, and, . . . I must add, this one turned out especially good!

Jess' Granola

-Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

-Grease a large oven pan, one with a rim to keep oats from spilling out.

-Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (again, remember, I just happened to have these things in my pantry, I throw them in where I can use them; use what you have and substitute to be adventurous!).

5 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of chopped raw walnuts
1/3 cup of chopped unsalted toasted peanuts
1/2 cup of wheat germ
1 Tbs of poppy seeds
2 Tbs of flax seeds
1/3 Cup of raisins
1/3 Cup of chopped prunes
1/8 Cup of chopped dried mango
1/8 Cup of chopped dried apples
1 tsp of cayenne pepper

-Prepare syrup by putting wet ingredients into a medium size pot.

1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of raw honey
2 tsp of salt

-Turn up heat and bring mixture to a boil, let boil till mixture browns some, you want that nutty caramel flavor, it adds a caramel flavor of the granola.  

-Quickly add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix together well, covering all grains and dried fruit with wet mix.  

-Pour un-cooked granola into a large pan for cooking and spread evenly.

-Cook granola for 30 minutes being sure to take the pan out every 10 minutes to lift and mix.  If you don't do this, your granola will get stuck to the bottom of the pan.  

-Take granola out of oven, keep mixing every 10 minutes or so till granola has cooled down.  

-Store in an air-tight container!


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