May 2009


We’ve got someone in our household I lovingly call the finisher*. It might be the last apple or the last scoop of ice cream. Usually, the last bit of cheese or the last few tortilla chips. The last piece of chocolate – definitely.

This morning’s victim was the granola (and me who had plain yogurt instead – I make a good victim.) Seriously, who finishes the last bit of granola knowing it will only add to someone’s morning crankiness?

not a good start

not a good start

Time to make another batch, I guess. I’ve been digging this granola recipe ever since I started making my own over a year ago. I forget which blog I got it from, but it was originally credited to Nigella Lawson. The blogger had modified it to her liking and I’ve changed that recipe, so I’m not sure if it even remotely resembles the original or not. The thing about this recipe is that you can really play with it. Make it as is and I’m pretty sure you will like it. It may be too sweet (or not sweet enough), or too nutty, or it won’t clump nicely. That’s fine, you can tweak it next time, but it will still be pretty good in the meantime. The first recipe I followed was too sweet for my tastes, so I reduced the sugar(s). Over time, I found that I wanted more clumps, so I no longer reduce the sticky sugars (rice syrup and honey), but cut the brown sugar back instead

dry ingredients at the ready

dry ingredients at the ready

While everything is out and I’m measuring anyway, I always make a second mixture of the dry ingredients, seal it, and put it in the freezer. The next batch just needs a few wet ingredients and granola is ready to refill a jar that has mysteriously emptied itself.

* If you haven’t guessed, our finisher is the male of the species and is probably reading this going, “who me?”

following in her daddy's footsteps

following in her daddy's footsteps

Granola

The following is the combination I made this morning. The type of nut, applesauce, or honey used can make a difference in how it tastes, but I haven’t found a bad batch, yet. This recipe is very adaptable to whatever you have on hand.

Dry ingredients:
5 cups rolled oats
2 to 3 cups nuts (I like pecans best, have also used walnuts and raw almonds or even a mixture)
1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
3⁄4 cup sesame seeds (have omitted if I didn’t have on hand)
1⁄2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1⁄2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt

Wet ingredients:
3⁄4 cup unsweetened apple sauce (homemade is preferable)
1⁄4 cup brown rice syrup try a scant 1/3 c. and go from there)
scant 1⁄4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)

Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Stir to mix well. In a small bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Stir to mix well. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones, and stir well.

Spread the mixture evenly on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until evenly golden brown. Set a timer to go off every ten minutes while the granola bakes, so you can rotate the pans and give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly. When it’s ready, remove the pans from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and set aside to cool. The finished granola may still feel slightly soft when it comes out of the oven, but it will crisp as it cools.

Yield: about 10 cups

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it's what's for dinner

it's what's for dinner