Thursday, April 15, 2010
All natural, super healthy - GRANOLA
I've been making my own granola for about a month now. I very much look forward to granola day! As it bakes in the oven, my house smells amazingly cozy and inviting, but best of all - this granola is packed full of healthy goodness. For about 10 minutes of prep, that's a pretty big pay off! This recipe is inspired by Cheryl, my lovely tree tapping country friend, and is changed every time I make it, according to what is kicking around my pantry. As you can see in the photos, I don't always add dried fruit - my favourite way to enjoy this is stirred into plain, organic whole milk yogurt, with some fresh strawberries or bananas. If you are using dried fruit, cut up about 2 cups of a variety of fruits, like cherries, apples, and apricots into raisin size pieces. Raisins and dried cranberries do not need to be chopped. Add these to the granola after baking, once it has cooled thoroughly.
Once again, this recipe is a guideline only - as long as quantities are correct, you can change it up in many ways. My granola this week, for example, contains no nuts, because I wanted to pack it in school lunches. The nuts do add incredible flavour and texture, I would suggest them if you aren't planning on sending any to school.
Combine in a large bowl:
6 cups rolled oats (no substitutions!)
1 cup sunflower seeds or any other seed, like pepitas (which I used for mine this week)
1/2 cup sesame seeds, or something else like unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup ground or whole flax seeds
2 cups slivered almonds, or change it up with any other nut - I love to use pecan pieces
1 cup real maple syrup or honey
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp real vanilla extract
Add the maple syrup mixture to the oats. Combine until everything has been coated with the syrup.
Preheat oven to 300 F. Spread the granola in stone or glass baking pans, about 3/4 inch thick. I use two pans, sometimes three! Place them all on the middle oven rack, should they not all fit, use the next rack down as well, and rotate every 20 minutes top to bottom. You need to set your timer for every 15 - 20 minutes anyway, to stir the granola, this ensure even crisping. Total bake time is about 50 - 60 minutes, or until granola is golden and crisp. Do not over bake though!
Store in airtight containers, like mason jars, and do not refrigerate.