Tuesday, 5 May 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!