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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Easy Granola

I made this Granola today for the family.  Note - though Granola made at home lacks a lot of fillers and extra unhealthy ingredients, this does not mean one can gorge him/herself freely and think the calories don't add up!  They do!  Lots of other websites give great 'healthier' versions of granola.  I figure I'll just make it my way and use as a condiment rather than to consume by the bowlful.  Granola is deceptive in that many think it is a great 'health' food - which because the main ingredient is oats, it is - however it is highly caloric and will not really be a great addition to a diet looking to curb calories etc.

This is great sprinkled on ice cream (more health food anyone?!) or you can add a spoonful to non-sweetened cereals, or if you are looking to bulk up, just eat by the bowlful!

This is a heaping amount - enough for a big family!

12 c. oats
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour (I used a mix of brown, white, oat flour combined with wheat germ and wheat bran - I call it my 'power flour' mix)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 T cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1 c. coconut
1 - 1 1/2 c. chopped nuts

Mix these together.

Warm up together:
1 1/2 c. oil (coconut oil? or butter? - you choose)
1 1/2 c. honey (if you're being cheap you can substitute some other liquid sweetener - I had liquid raw sugar on hand and used some of that - also Lyle's Golden Syrup - not sold in U.S. grocery stores for the most part).

Stir into liquid:
1 1/2 T vanilla
1 T almond extract

Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients.

Spread on all cookie sheets available in your house.
Bake at 300 for 40 mins.
(I did the convection bake at 325 for 35 mins - with more stirring in between).

Here's the secret to perfect granola:
When you take it out of the oven it will seem soft and you will think, 'Hmm, I need to bake it longer or it will be mushy!'  Not so fast!  Take it out, let it sit for 30 mins or so, after stirring it first, and wait and see if it turns crispy.  It should!  I always tended to overbake mine and not realize that it would get crispier as it sat and dried out.  (The sugar part of it makes it soft and sticky when hot, but when it cools off it turns crunchy).  Believe me - it really works!

At the end, stir in together in a big bowl to break up any clumps and leave to cool for a while.  Then add any extras you like - raisins, extra nuts, extra dried fruit, a box of rice crispies or such.

I do other Granola recipes too - but this one I like a lot.  

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