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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Homemade Granola

by Throwback at Trapper Creek

I list boxed cereals from the store right up there with candy bars when I think of my vices. I know they are bad for me, and I shudder to think about what probably goes into the making of industrial fake food. I haven't kicked my candy bar habit, but I vowed my child would not be reading cereal boxes at breakfast time. But, to combat breakfast doldrums I make granola. A neighbor shared her recipe from the Scattergood Friends School some time ago. The original recipe called for wheat germ and wheat bran in addition to the other dry ingredients, but since reading Nourishing Traditions and learning more about the health benefits of soaking grains and nuts, I have dropped those ingredients since the bran and germ should not be removed from the wheat kernel and then added back in a recipe.

I have tried soaking and drying the oats and nuts first, and then making the granola. But found it so time consuming that I was making the granola less and less. I have found it easier to just soak the granola overnight and then serve it. And once in awhile we eat it without soaking. It is still a better substitute than boxed cereal.

Soaking grains and seeds before cooking and eating helps remove phytic acids that inhibit the absorption of minerals. The most common soaking methods call for yogurt, whey or lemon juice and warm water. All things in most kitchens.

Method: Combine 1 cup oats or cereal with 1 cup warm water (heated not tap water) and 2 tablespoons of yogurt, whey or lemon juice. Soak overnight, drain off any excess liquid and cook over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes.

HOMEMADE GRANOLA

4 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
2 cups dried fruit

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Measure and mix dry ingredients. Add oil and mix well. Combine molasses and honey in measuring cup used for the oil, they will pour out easily. Mix well to make sure all dry ingredients are coated lightly with molasses and honey.

Spread in lightly greased jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides.
Bake 10 minutes, stir; 5 minutes, stir; 5 minutes, stir.
Take out of oven and stir several times while cooling, add fruit. Store in airtight container.

You can mix and match dry ingredients, just keep the ratio of dry to wet the same: 6 cups dry to 3/4 cup wet. If you like granola clusters increase the molasses and honey.

To double this recipe, it is easiest to make two batches. It is easier to mix and you can easily bake two batches at the same time.

This also makes a great housewarming or holiday gift in decorative jar or container with the recipe attached.

Chop nuts of choice, I used filberts, err, hazelnuts.

Measure dry ingredients.

Add oil (I used olive) swishing the oil around the entire cup. Doing this makes the molasses and honey pour easily, and makes clean-up a snap.

Mix oil and dry ingredients thoroughly.

Measure molasses and honey, using the same cup. Add to the dry ingredients. See how easily they pour!

Mix thoroughly, and spread in cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees.

Stir several times during the baking according to the recipe.

Stir several times after baking. When completely cool, add dried fruit.
Pour into airtight container for storage!

17 comments:

Michelle said...

I love the dogs muzzle in the photo! Obviously, you are making it for HIM...right?! I have a similar photo on my blog...only my dog is gazing at my LIVE CHICKENS.

http://giveagirlafig.blogspot.com/2009/04/big-bad-wolf.html

claudia said...

That looks delicious and seems easy enough for even someone like me to make. Thank you!

Jen said...

One of our family's favorite breakfasts is granola, too, and we've also started recently soaking it. But as muesli (instead of serving it hot). I can't give exact amounts, as I never measure, but for about a cup and a half of granola, I pour in about half a cup of pressed apple cider, a half a cup (or more) of yogurt, and then a half a cup or so of milk...just enough of all of these to make it thickly liquid-y. Then I let it sit overnight in the fridge, and serve it with lots of grated apple and maybe some (thawed) frozen berries. Yum! We've discovered we love this even more than our crunchy granola! In fact, though I used to mix the granola with some sweetener and oil/butter and dry it ahead of time, now I just leave those ingreds. out and just mix the oats/seeds/nuts/dried fruit either when I prep it the night before, or in quantity enough to make it last for a few times.

Annette said...

Easy treat and sooo good for you. I plan to make some this week. Thank you!

Iris E. said...

Plus, there is nothing like the aroma of freshly baking granola...the smell that got me out of bed on Sunday morning! My husband used to bake granola professionally and likes to favor us at home with his concoctions for the perfect granola recipe the whole family will enjoy.

One thing that is essential is keeping the nuts out, for our non-nut lovers. But we now keep all the add-ins out, and optional, so you can customize your own bowl each morning (hmmm, almonds or cashews? raisins or cranberries?).

I love your photo of the knife and nuts!
XO
Iris

Country Girl said...

Looks like a good combination. Granola is expensive to buy prepared. I have been wanting to read that book Nourshing Traditions, I see it mentioned often in blogs.

Gift of Green said...

Okay, that looks super yummy!!!

livinginalocalzone said...

I've cut/pasted this recipe (the whole post actually) and can't wait to try it this evening. Love love love granola - as you said, it is so easy and delicious and customizable. I don't have/like coconut, so I'll leave that out, but that's the beauty of it, unlike packaged cereals. Very interesting about soaking the grains/seeds. I've tried that a few times and found the taste much better, but never knew about the health benefits.
About how long would you say this keeps?

livinginalocalzone said...

Forgot to add - Oil often doesn't suit my system, is there a way to leave it out of this recipe (as I've done with others)? Or sub?

Live Simply Love Strongly said...

I wonder if there is a way to make this into bars? My husband needs something to take with him on the go.

Cheap Like Me said...

Excellent! I keep meaning to do this. I've heard you can make it in the slow cooker or even the bread machine, so perhaps I will have to give it a try.

Chookie said...

From what I understand, the original Bircher muesli is not cooked, just soaked, so Localzone might want to check out recipes for that. Have you tried your recipe untoasted, Trapper?
It's interesting that cereals in the US are so unhealthy -- we have quite a number of healthy packaged breakfast cereals here. But at this time of year, I like porridge.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Michelle, at least he thinks he's getting some...love the pic of your pup!

I'm posting a similar one today.

Claudia, you are very welcome!

Jen, the cider sounds very good. I prefer it soaked overnight now too.

Annette, you're welcome, the granola never seems to last too long here, especially on the weekends!

Iris E., do you ever loan out that baker? ;) Sounds great, and I bet he has a few tricks up his sleeves!

Country Girl, besides being expensive, you never know how long it has been since it was made.

You'll be surprised when you read Nourishing Traditions. The information in the sidebars on each page is priceless.

Gift of Green, it WAS yummy, and it didn't last very long at all.

Mangochild, I never have tried it without the oil, but it is worth a try. The oil does help with the even distribution of the molasses and honey. Does all fat bother you or would melted butter or coconut oil be better. The coconut oil helps with digestion, but if you don't like coconut the oil might too much.

Let me know how your experiments turn out!

Live Simply Love Strongly, I never have made granola bars, but all you would have to do is maybe add a little more honey, molasses to bind the mixture so you could press it into a baking dish.

Cheap Like Me, those are great ideas - you'll be surprised how easy it is!

Chookie, I like my porridge on cool mornings too - soaked overnight and cooked with little grassfed butter added.

Mostly my husband and daughter eat the toasted granola, and I prefer the plain oatmeal or steel cut oats myself.

Robbyn said...

Oh, looks great! We love granola around here...looks like a good recipe. Hmmm, I have some pecans just begging to be used :)

Robbyn

Notes From The Frugal Trenches said...

This looks lovely! Thank you!!

Angela said...

I'm just about to put this in the oven! - and I realise that I am confused about your cooking instructions! So, do you cook for a total of 20 minutes? ie cook 10 mins, then stir, then cook 5 mins, then stir, then cook final 5 mins then stir?

Or do you cook for a total of 10 mins, stirring after each 5 mins has passed?

Sorry to be dense but I couldn't work it out from your instructions.

I'm going to try cooking for 20 mins today and hope that it doesn't burn! But please do post an answer to this question so I'll know definitely for next time!

Thanks :)

Angela said...

After my last post (re: cooking time) I found the granola was fine after 20 mins (I had it in the middle shelf of the oven). The almonds I used were delicious - I left the skins on (I wasn't sure whether to blanche them off but I'm glad that I left them on as they turned out OK). The molasses flavour is a bit pronounced for me. I'm wondering whether swapping that ingredient for maple syrup would work? Or whether it would be too sweet with the honey in the recipe as well? Any info appreciated. I'm guessing you put the molasses in for nutrition (iron content) as well as taste? Thanks for posting this granola recipe - I've never made granola before and I'm really glad I attempted it! :)