Thursday, February 24, 2011

~ My Favorite Granola Recipe ~

This post has nothing to do with my jewelry whatsoever.  I could lie and say that I eat this granola while WEARING my jewelry, but I won't.  :D  It's all about granola.

I've tweaked this recipe over the years and have finally got it just right.  I don't ever follow a recipe exactly.  It's a rebel-thing, I think.  I feel the urge to change something in every recipe I've ever made.  Usually it turns out good, occasionally there is a 'WHAT WAS I THINKING?!' moment.  This one, is SO good that you'll be eating it out of the jar.

Here's what you'll need:

Dawanna's Granola

1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup real maple syrup, agave nectar or honey      
1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar

6 cups of oatmeal  
1 cup of whole or chopped raw nuts of your choice    ( I like whole almonds )
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup unsulphured shredded coconut
1 cup dried fruit                                                   ( I like dried blueberries )

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  If you can put your oven racks on the 2nd and fourth rungs from the bottom, you can cook them both cookie sheets at the same time.

Mix the oil, syrup and sugar in a saucepan, cooking over low heat until the sugar is no longer grainy.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour the warm liquid mixture into the bowl and stir until everything is coated and starts clumping together.  ( you can't over mix this.)

Split the granola into two large, oiled or buttered cookie sheets.  Spread it out as much as possible.  I sprinkle cinnamon lightly over both cookie sheets at this point.

Cook for 10 minutes, remove them and stir.  Put them back in the oven, switching positions on the racks.  ( the top one goes on the bottom rack, the one that was on the bottom goes on the top)  Cook 10 more minutes and then let them cool.

Store your granola for up to 2 weeks in a glass jar or other container.
Quality ingredients are the key to this recipe.  It can go from health food to junk food by adding the wrong ingredients.  Here's are my favorites and they are all good for you.  :D

Oatmeal:  I like Bob's Red Mill.  It's chewy because it hasn't been processed and doesn't melt into goo before you can eat it.

Coconut:  I like this one.  Don't use the sweetened kind found in the baking aisle.  Your granola will be way too sweet and that stuff isn't good for you.  You can use large flakes or finely shredded, which ever you prefer.

Grapeseed oil:  I choose this because not all oils should be heated.  Grapeseed oil is light, can handle the cooking temperature and is excellent for your heart.  Grapeola is my favorite.

Dried fruit:  Caveat emptor!!! Most dried fruit is loaded with corn syrup, oil and other unhealthy ingredients.  You must read the labels when purchasing.  A health food store or online store is your best bet here.  I like this and this.

Nuts:  Please don't use roasted and salted nuts for this.  Raw nuts are so healthy for you.  Almonds are actually a seed, but the recipe doesn't mind.

Feel free to tweak this recipe to your tastes.  Write down your changes so when you make the perfect batch, you'll be able to make it again.  Happy eating!