Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Granola-mama

How did granola get such a hippy rap anyway? Where better to turn to for answers than the information super highway? Ask, and you shall receive… the food and name were “revived” in the 1960’s with a “major appearance” at the 1969 Woodstock Festival (Wikipedia). How can you escape a hippy connection with that kind of debut?

Regardless, granola is SO good, and homemade granola is a category unto itself. I love it. My mom left on Saturday after staying for a couple of days to help with the new baby. My single request before she left? Was it clean laundry? Time for a nap? Naa, it was a batch of homemade granola , of course. When it is around (it is hard to keep around at our house) I find excuses to eat it all the time. Snack with yogurt or desert with chocolate chips mixed in. Actually, lately I have been adding chocolate chips to lots of things … mmm.

This granola version is a combination of two recipes, one from my mom and the other from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking. I like the technique from my mom’s recipe, the addition of coconut oil and orange zest in Heidi’s recipe (l write as if I know her…) and can’t be pinned down on what nuts or fruits to include because it usually depends on what remnants are floating around in the cupboard. I hope you enjoy this thrifty delight as it is a cheaper and environmentally friendly alternative to buying supermarket cereal.
Granola-Mama

Let the granola cool completely on the trays before transferring to an air tight container. This ensures it stays nice and crunchy. The classic combination for this recipe (if you aren’t scavenging the cupboard) is almonds and dried cranberries.

Servings: ~12 cups
Cost: $2-$3 (varies depending on what fruits and nuts you use)
Time: 40 mins, 20 active

6 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
3 tsp cinnamon
2 cups nuts (e.g. almonds, pistachios, walnuts)
1 cup Shredded coconut
2 Tbs. lemon or orange zest
1 cup honey
½ cup coconut oil
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups dried fruit (e.g. cranberries, raisins, currants, figs, apricots, bananas)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine oats, cinnamon, nuts, coconut and zest. In a saucepan over medium low heat stir coconut oil and honey to combine. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and stir until oats are well coated. Spread oats evenly onto three lightly oiled baking trays. Place trays into preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove trays from oven, stir and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until oats are golden brown. Let oats cool to room temperature, and then combine granola with dried fruit. Store in air tight container for up to one month.

3 comments:

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Amy Gus said...

I'm not a huge granola fan, but this write-up makes me want to try it - thanks for making it look so yummy!

"Aunt" Peggy said...

A couple of years ago, Emily's mom (who happens to be my cousin) gave us a jar of her home-made granola and we LOVED it. I'm a home-made granola virgin, so where else would I start but with Emily's recipe? I just made it and LOVED it, too. I'm going to have to restrain myself from eating the whole 12 cups for lunch.

I used almonds and walnuts and cleaned out my dried fruit stash of raisins, dates, apricots and cranberries. I also made a couple of changes to the recipe. I used canola oil instead of coconut oil (gotta watch the saturated fats) and added three big pinches (about a teaspoon) of Kosher salt. My oven was running a little hot, so 18 minutes total roasting time was almost too long, but it's still yummy.

I'm a convert! No more store-bought granola for me!