Homemade Granola

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I’ve never been much of a granola fan…or at least I wasn’t up until about 8 months ago. I’d eat it here and there, but wasn’t ever really committed to it. Then I tried Udi’s granola and found myself in love with it. Over the summer I would eat it every morning with a bowl of yogurt. It was my go to breakfast; quick, easy, filling, nutritious…but unfortunately a little too pricey. Sometimes you have to pay to get the good stuff, I understand, but occasionally your wallet or bank account reminds you that sometimes you have to have your priorities, as far as food and shopping go, in check. So, what to do about my love for Udi’s but my wallet’s nagging? Go homemade, and fall in love with that.

I love making things from scratch. In fact there isn’t too much I don’t make from scratch, except chicken stock, which I use a lot of but just don’t have the patience to wait all day for a whole chicken to do it’s magic. Anyways, back to granola. I went on-line looking for recipes that looked easy and quick. I tried one that used baking soda instead of oil, but realized that I don’t actually care for the occasional bites of zing I would get from the soda. This morning I decided to give it another go, and turned to Jamie Olivers, Food Revolution cookbook for some inspiration.

Here is his recipe:

Makes enough to fill a large glass jar

2 cups quick oats (not instant)

1 heaped cup mixed nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts)

1/4 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, poppy, pumpkin, sesame)

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots)

5 Tbs maple syrup or honey

5 Tbs olive oil

To Prepare Granola:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put dry granola ingredients, including coconut and cinnamon but not the dried fruit on a sheet pan. Stir well and smooth out. Drizzle with the maple syrup and a  little of the olive oil and stir again. Place the pan in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, every 5 minutes or so , take the granola out and stir it, then smooth it down and put it back in. While toasting, roughly chop up any large dried fruit. When granola is nice and golden remove it from the oven, mix in the dried fruit and let it cool down before placing in jar.

Here are my uses/additions/modifications:

I used dried cherries, cranberries and golden raisins for fruit,

cashews and almonds for nuts

poppy, sunflower and pumpkin for seeds

1 Tbs cinnamon (because I love cinnamon)

Honey instead of maple syrup

and a healthy sprinkle (yup, healthy sprinkle) of vanilla.

I didn’t really “measure” my fruits, nuts, seeds, oil, honey or vanilla. I just added to my taste. It smelled so good while baking, my mouth was watering and a friend of my brother in law told me it reminded him of when he was a child and his mother would make granola. I love food that makes memories, or brings back memories.

I didn’t mind that the mixture didn’t clump up. I’m really not a big fan of eating hard crunchy things, it sort of makes me cringe when I  bite down and I imagine teeth shattering (don’t ask me why, it just happens.) I also like the oats loose, rather than clumped, because I mix a little into my cupkeiki’s yogurt in the mornings too.

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I’m excited for tomorrow morning, I think I’m already in love just looking at the jar on my counter and all the “deliciousness” waiting to be tried!

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