Wednesday, May 1, 2013

OMG Granola!


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Granola is everywhere. It is one of those staples I hardly gave a thought to until I realized I was out of it! Last time I went grocery shopping I couldn't find the brand I usually purchase, and the one I bought tasted a lot like cardboard. Blech! I started researching Granola online, and found several recipes for making it. I learned that there are two different camps of Granola fans. To clump, or not to clump, that is the question! Every recipe I found differed slightly from the others, but I was inspired. I loaded up on ingredients and set out to make perfect Granola cereal.

I made three different test recipes, all using raw local Honey as the only sweetener. There are recipes online using brown sugar, maple syrup and Brown Rice Syrup if you are not a fan of honey. The honey based recipes I chose called for Virgin Coconut Oil, one for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the third for basic Vegetable oil, like Canola oil. I made the first batch with Canola oil, and though edible, it was much less flavorful than the other two. The other two were both memorable and amazing! I'll share both winning recipes below. I know for sure I will never purchase Granola again. Not only is homemade Granola more flavorful than any I've ever purchased, it is super easy to make and costs half the price of store bought. Plus, I know EXACTLY what went into it, which means no GMO's.




Recipe #1 COCONUT OIL CLUMPING GRANOLA
(This one got the Blue Ribbon at my house, 3-1)

7 cups natural quick oats (bulk foods)
1 cup raw Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup raw Sunflower Seeds
1 cup sliced Almonds

3/4 cup raw, local honey
1/2 cup Virgin Coconut Oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine oats, seeds and nuts in large bowl, stir well.

Combine honey, oil, cinnamon and sea salt in small saucepan. Melt together on very low heat. Add vanilla.

Pour honey mixture over the oat mixture, tossing well to distribute as thoroughly as possible.

Press mixture onto UNGREASED cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Press down with wax paper to pack as tightly as you can.

Bake at 275-300 convection or 325 regular oven for approximately 30 minutes. Don't stir! If you stir it the granola will break apart and it won't clump together.

Pull it out of the oven when granola is a light golden brown, and firm at the edges of the pan. Cool completely, to
room temperature. Break up with a pancake turner or your hands. Two batches of this recipe will fill a gallon sized glass jar. It will keep at last two months if tightly sealed, but it is so good it will probably never last that long! :-)

Olive Oil Granola recipe follows, after photos.

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Recipe #2 OLIVE OIL NON-CLUMPING GRANOLA
(Our grown daughter likes THIS one the best. She is not a fan of Coconut in any form)

6 cups regular, natural oatmeal (Bulk food bins)
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 cup raw Pumpkin Seeds, shelled
1 cup raw Sunflower Seeds, shelled
1 cup sliced almonds


Mix the above dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Combine the following in a small saucepan.

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup raw local Honey
2-3 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp pure Vanilla Extract

Heat the oil, cinnamon and honey together over low heat. Stir in Vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients and toss to coat thoroughly. Press into jelly roll type pan. Bake at 275-300 convection oven, or 325 regular oven, for about 25-30 minutes, stirring and turning mixture every 10 minutes. When golden, allow to cool, stirring every once in a while. Store in tightly sealed jar.

With both recipes, keep an eye on the baking! If your oven runs hot the mixture could scorch. Turn it to whatever setting will bake the granola without burning it.


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Enjoy this wholesome treat with Greek Honey Yogurt (MY favorite) or over fruit or ice cream!




















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3 comments:

Comfrey Cottages said...

These sound just perfect, bestie! thanks for doing the test kitchen bit!! can't wait to make, adore granola <3

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this granola!!! It's so easy to do, and it works perfect every time!!! I did it with coconut chips and mango chunks. Delicious! Thanks so much

Marci said...

Oooh, Coconut and Mango chips sound wonderful! I am going to try that! I'm happy you like it so much. I can't believe all the years I bought it at the store. It tastes like cardboard to me now!