Thursday, July 21, 2011

Make It Yourself : Granola

So, a few weeks ago I wrote about making my own yogurt. Well, I have been making it every week since because it is SO easy and SO good. Seriously, you need to make it. Like Today. And what goes better with a jar of homemade yogurt than a jar of homemade granola? Um, pretty much nothing.

So, let's get our granola on.

I have made my own granola in the past, but never consistently. Lately, I have got into the routine of mixing up a batch as I am making my yogurt for the week. It takes about 20 min. to throw together and tastes leaps and bounds better than what is in the store. Cheaper as well. And it makes your house smell amazing as it is baking and you get to eat warm granola from the pan.

And I know what you might be thinking... everyone and their grandma has a good granola recipe. But this one is my favorite and it is, oh, so good. Give it a try.

My recipe is loosely based on Heidi Swanson's recipe found in her cookbook Super Natural Cooking. The orange zest she uses is delish! Don't omit it! I mean, don't run out to the store just for an orange, but it does give the granola great flavor. Check out her website as well for a treasure trove of awesome vegetarian recipes and gorgeous food photography. I've made this recipe and this recipe many times over and they're freakin' amazing.

Okay, on to the granola.

Note: Feel free to mix and match with your nuts and fruit and adjust amounts to your liking. I tend to use whatever I have in the kitchen and just eyeball the amounts.

 My Favorite Granola

4c. rolled oats ( I never use the quick cooking type)
Big ol' handful unsweetened shredded coconut
Big ol' handful raw almonds
Smaller handful raw sunflower seeds
Grated zest of 1 orange (tangerine could be nice too)
1/2 c. maple syrup ( I used honey once and didn't like it as much as the maple syrup)
1/2 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
Handful dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Combine the oats, nuts, zest, maple syrup, oil and vanilla in bowl. Mix until everything looks evenly coated. Don't add your dried fruit here or they will turn out to be hard little pellets by the end of baking.

Divide mixture between two baking sheets ( I usually need a large and a small one for this amount) and pop it into the oven.

Stir every 10 minutes or so until it is golden brown. Watch the edges of the pan because that's where the granola tends to burn. I try to find an activity that keeps me in the kitchen otherwise I forget about it and it, inevitably, burns. So, grab a book or some knitting and it should be done in about 40 minutes.

Cool. Stir in dried cranberries. Store in a jar or a Ziploc bag. Eat with milk, yogurt or by the handful while you're standing in your kitchen (me).

Revel in your homemade awesomeness.

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