Friday, March 18, 2016

Mix 'n' match granola


I made it to one month. Blogging is starting to feel normal again. (Well, at least the kids don't look at me like I'm a nutjob when I run around with plates of food and my camera...) And I'm pretty sure my husband is psyched cuz he gets all the goodies. Like this one.

Once upon a time, I made homemade granola every couple weeks. For about a year and a half, I've bought granola bars for him instead. He has never complained about it and happily eats his crunchy granola bars. But last night when he came home to the smell of baking granola, he remarked that he forgot I used to make it and then quite eagerly filled a dish for work.

Granola is pretty much impossible to screw up. Unless you forget about it in the oven and burn it, there's really no way to mess it up. I throw in what I have on hand, keeping the wet/dry ratios the same. Feel like pecans instead of almonds? No problem. Have flax seed? Throw it in. Prefer bran flakes to corn? Be a rebel. Add dried fruit, different nuts, flaked coconut. The possibilities are endless. You can even add different extracts to the liquid - a few drops of almond or coconut for example...

My preferred method of gobbling this up is over fat free Greek yogurt. With or without fruit.

Oh, and the three year old ate a whole bowl of it this morning. And the older child willingly tried it and SMILED. Whoo hoo. Happy Friday to me.

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Mix 'n' Match Granola
Adapted from Fresh from the Market by Laurent Tourondel

Use this as a guide and then throw in whatever combination of ingredients you like.

  • 2 cups corn flakes (or bran flakes, or use more oats if you prefer)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup almonds (or walnuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts...)
  • 1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (or flax, or sunflower, or a mix)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, opened and seeds scraped (or use some vanilla extract)
  • Zest of one orange

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Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with a large piece of parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the corn flakes, old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats, nuts, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, honey, maple syrup, orange zest and vanilla bean (seeds and pod). Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Discard the vanilla bean pod.
  5. granola (3)
  6. Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined. Pour onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Spread it evenly and then bake for about 20 minutes, stirring it halfway thru. Watch the baking time, you want it golden and starting to dry. Remove from the oven and break up the big chunks. When cool, store in an airtight container.

granola (1)

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