February 24, 2009

Really Good Granola

The winter baking, cooking and eating is making me feel guilty. I feel the need for a healthy dose of fiber, exercise wouldn't be a bad idea either. Just as soon as it gets into the thirties again. In the meantime I am still hibernating.

I am posting this very easy, very good granola recipe. I make it often and it doesn't last long (see chocolate cake post). You can add any cut up dried fruit or chocolate nibs (unsweetened cocoa, available at health food stores) after it bakes and cools. We like ours with a strong vanilla flavor, but you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon to it also.

Here is the basic recipe, as well as some of the optional ingredients I have used, depending on what is in my cupboard.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

4 1/2 cups whole oats (not quick)
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 cup sliced almonds and/or chopped pecans, walnuts
optional: 1/4 cup wheat germ
1-2 T. ground flaxseed
1 T. cocoa (especially good if you add the nibs later)
1 T. sesame seed

Mix together the above ingredients in a large bowl.

In another small bowl , add and mix
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup real maple syrup (I have used Aunt Jemima, in a pinch)
1/4 brown sugar and/or honey ( I use both if I have added the cocoa)
1- 2 T. vanilla extract (yes, tablespoons)

Pour this mixture over oatmeal mixture and fold together to combine well.

Line large rimmed sheet pan with Silpat liner or parchment paper.
Spread out granola evenly. Bake about 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove from oven when golden brown and cool completely.
Add 1-2 cups of dried fruit and / or chocolate nibs. Store at room temperature in a
covered container. I use a glass cannister that I bought at target, and keep a 1/2 measuring cup in it.

I hope you will try this one...enjoy!

P.S. Just for fun....go here!


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