Friday, March 12, 2010
I think I might still be on the breakfast track of thought because this obsession is starting to take over dinner plans as of late. And the whole "everything homemade" thing is starting to make me feel a bit hippyish. No, I haven't started wearing tie dyed shirts and skirts and socks, I left all those behind sometime after junior high, but I have dipped my toes in granola making. Actually, considering the quantity of granola that I made, it wasn't just a toe, I'm in knee deep, and I love it. Who knew it was so easy? Not to mention that the process turned my house all warm and cozy with the smells of a bakery without the calories. It might call for an odd ingredient or two, but it makes a ton, is infinitely flexible and delicious and quite a bit cheaper then the store bought kind.
I stumbled onto this recipe here and seeing as how it was the first gorgeously warm day, I jotted down the ingredients, pulled on my shoes, left my coat hanging on the chair and took a long walk down to Whole Foods. Nothing feels better then the first coat-less warm day. It's like breathing through your skin. Like running around the house opening all the windows and finally letting all the stale winter air out and letting the spring in. But I digress, back to the granola. Once back home, I spread out the loot and got to work. I have to tell you, the process couldn't be simpler. You mix in all the dry stuff, mix all the wet stuff, combine, and bake. You do have to stir the mixture up every 10 minutes so that it dries evenly and doesn't clump up, so I stayed in the kitchen and made a large pot of iced tea. What better way to welcome spring? I highly recommend it.
adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast via Orangette
5 cups rolled oats
3 cups raw almonds or pecan halves, or a mixture of any nut you like
1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
3/4 cup sesame seeds (I added this, but I'm not sure if I will again...it didn't add much)
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon (I might add a bit more next time)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup brown rice syrup (I found it by the honey in Whole Foods)
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
1 cup raisins, chopped apricots, dried cherries, cranberries, or anything else you like
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. See? I told you this was easy.
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.
Add about a cup of any dried fruit you like, I added raisins, and scoop into to a large zipper-lock plastic bag or other airtight container. Store in the refrigerator indefinitely, but trust me, it won't last that long.