I’m pretty vanilla when it comes to what I like for breakfast. Fresh fruit, cut into yogurt with some kind of dry cereal on top for crunch. I don’t like starting my morning out with a big dose of high fructose corn syrup that is so abundant in the cereal aisle and my pocketbook can’t handle paying $7 for a tiny bag of store bought granola. These things have led me on a search for a tasty granola recipe and I’ve tried many a recipe for baking really.good.granola. I wouldn’t say that my search is over but this is my current favorite. Many others are delicious but so high in fat that I can’t justify eating it for breakfast. I’ve tried a few with different applesauce combinations as it’s liquid but they just aren’t to my liking. I like this one because it’s open to a lot of interpretation and more importantly, whatever you have on hand. It’s also got just enough sweetness to hold up to dairy products. In fact, it’s been delicious with the homemade yogurt that I’ve been making. That’s a whole different post….
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup craisins (raisins work too if you like those things…)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
1 Tb. water
2 T. molasses
2 T. maple syrup
Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 275.
Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and walnuts and coconut in a bowl.
Bring oil, water, molasses, syrup and cinnamon to a simmer in a saucepan on low heat.
Drizzle over dry ingredients.
Pour mixture onto 9×13 pan. Working small handfuls at a time squeeze the cereal to form small clumps.
Bake for 30 minutes and then add dried fruit.
Bake for another 15 minutes longer or until cereal achieves a golden brown color.
The above recipe can definitely be used as a blueprint for granola, but there are a few tips that will help make it a favorite.
*Bake at low heat – if you’re not getting the crunchy result that you’re looking for, increase time not temperature.
*Adding the dried fruit mid-way through baking allows it to dry out enough to keep the cereal from getting soggy.
*The wheat germ and water combination will help to create clusters – as does squeezing the cereal before cooking it.
*Use old fashioned oats, not quick oats. Quick oats tend to make granola that is more powdery and less crisp – although they will cluster better. I also think they taste starchy.
Play, create, eat, enjoy. (and then tell me what you like best!)