Friday, February 4, 2011

Home-made Granola

Home-made Granola

Dry ingredients.

Wet ingredients.

Before baking

During baking... my pans don't fit side by side, but this works fine.

Home-Made Granola

18 ounces rolled oats (not quick cooking and not instant)
8 ounces unsweetened coconut
1 ½ to 2 cups coarsely chopped raw almonds
½ cup sesame seeds
3 tablespoons flax seed meal
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg (freshly ground preferred)
½ cup canola or vegetable oil
½ cup agave nectar (or honey)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two shallow pans with sides (such as shallow roasting pans or jelly roll pans) with aluminum foil; set aside.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. I like to use kitchen tongs to mix it all together (like tossing a salad).

In a microwaveable dish (I use a Pyrex measuring cup), combine the oil and agave nectar. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on High power. Stir with a whisk (it really doesn’t combine, but I try). Poor the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir well (with tongs) so that dry ingredients are lightly coated. Divide the granola onto the lined pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes; stirring approximately every 8 minutes.

Stirring is very important! The granola will start to burn on the bottom due to the sugars especially as the granola is close to being done. Your nose (and eyes) are a good gauge. If the granola is suddenly becoming very fragrant, chances are it’s time to stir. Don’t just peek in the oven because you can’t see what happening in the very back of the oven. Be on the safe side and double check. Burnt granola as not as yummy as lightly toasted granola.

When I made this granola yesterday, I stirred it after 10 minutes in the oven… no browning yet. Then I stirred it at 8 minutes and it was getting brown around the edges and on the bottom, especially in the back of the oven. Then I pulled it out after 7 more minutes and it was done. I let the granola cool on in the pans for awhile and then I lifted the foil out of the pans and allowed the granola to cool on the counter top until I could package it up. Made a little over 2 ½ pounds granola. Delicious with milk… almost like dessert over vanilla yogurt!

Some for me and some for my friend, Harriet!
This is a highly adaptable recipe.  You can toss in dried cranberries or raisins or other dried fruit once the granola has been baked and cooled.  You can use different kinds of nuts (pecans or walnuts are good).  Using sweetened coconut will increase the moisture in the granola but works really well.  I find the unsweetened coconut (which is very dry) at the health food store. You can leave out the sesame seeds and the flax seed meal. You can add wheat germ.  Consider adding vanilla extract or citrus zest to the liquid ingredients.  Think of the oats, coconut, oil, and agave nectar as the starting point for the granola, and let your imagination (and your ingredients on hand) be your guide.

Granola makes a great gift since it has a long shelf life.  I've packaged it up and given it for Christmas gifts in past years.


affectioknit said...

It looks awesome - I love granola!

Anonymous said...

This is the BEST granola I have ever tasted. I am so lucky to be Kim's friend and "the friend" that she shared this batch with. Thank you, Kim.