Friday, May 21, 2010

Homemade Granola

It just feels like a 2 post day. I wanted to follow up on the homemade granola bar post on May 3rd. I have a couple ideas, suggestions and another recipe to try.

I made some granola bars last week and was out of cinnamon so I instead used pumpkin pie spice and they turned out awesome. I didn't want to use too much of the spice because I thought the granola bars would taste too much like pumpkin pie and autumn, but I was wrong. I should have used more. Next time I make some I'm going to use the pumpkin pie spice again - and definitely more of it.

Also, when I made this batch of bars, I was in a hurry to get them cut up and put away, so after cutting them I just stuck them in a tupperware container all together and they have lasted a lot longer that way. The cling wrap is nice because we are usually grabbing them on the go, but I think I'll just start throwing one in a baggie when we are headed out.

Lastly, I came across another recipe for homemade granola bars that I haven't tried yet, but plan to soon. I wanted to share it with you so you can try it also.

1 1/3 cups rolled oats
pinch of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
1/4 cup flax seed
1 cup finely chopped dried fruit and/or nuts (any combo)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons brown rice syrup

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 8” square baking pan with parchment paper, letting a bit of excess paper hang over the sides.

Grind 1/3 cup of the oats in a food processor until powdery. Add them to a large mixing bowl with the remaining oats, the salt and spices, flax seeds, and dried fruit/nuts. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and then stir them into the dry ingredients.

Put the mixture in the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 1/2 hour, or until evenly browned. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes. Remove to a cutting board (the parchment paper will act as a sort-of sling, making this very easy). Cut into individual granola bars.

I also wanted to share my granola recipe. I have tried a couple different ones and this is our favorite. We eat it plain, with milk as a cereal, and sprinkled on yogurt. There is rarely a morning that we don't eat it in some way.

Maple Nut Granola

4 cups rolled oats
2 cups crispy brown rice cereal
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cup shredded dried coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pecans, cashews or walnuts
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons cinnamon
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 250.

In large bowl, mis together all dry ingredients. In separate bowl, whisk together oil, syrup and almond extract. Pour wet mixture over dry and stir to coat. Transfer granola to 9x12 pan, spread evenly and push raisins into granola so they are not on the surface. Place on top rack of oven and bake 60 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely to set. When cool, slide spatula along bottom of dish to release granola. Break into chunks and store in airtight container.

Makes 10 cups

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