Wednesday, July 13, 2011
In the interest of cleaning up our diet and eliminating processed foods from our house I made the decision to stop buying boxed breakfast cereal. We've been without it for about a month now. I'm also into simplifying at this point and cooking three times a day doesn't quite fit that bill either. So what's a gal to do? Well...I've found a solution that is really working for us right now.
Enter, homemade granola. This stuff is great. Not only is it a much better option nutritionally, but it's very versatile. We eat it as a cold cereal with milk, straight as a snack, as an ice cream topping, on yogurt, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. :0)
One batch makes about a gallon of granola so it lasts quite a while. The beauty of this basic recipe is that you can tailor it to suite your taste buds - or at least what you have on hand. You can switch up the variety of fruits, nuts and spices. You can also use gluten free oats or eliminate them all together if you're on a grain free diet. So, what are we waiting for? Let's make granola!
2 c. almonds
2 c. walnuts
2 c. oats
2 c. coconut
1 c. sunflower seeds
1 1/2 c. dried fruit
1/2 c. ground flax seeds (optional)
1 T. cinnamon
1 stick butter, coconut oil, or combination of the two
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. honey
1 T. vanilla
In a food processor, take turns chopping the almonds and walnuts. There will be larger pieces and smaller, powdery pieces. This is fine. Dump them in a large bowl then add the next 6 ingredients, stirring it all together. I used dried cranberries, in case you care.
In the meantime, melt butter, brown sugar and honey over med-low heat in a sauce pan.
Once it's all melted, stir in vanilla and pour over the dry ingredients. Stir very well. Then, spread the granola mixture onto two greased cookie sheets.
Bake in a pre-heated 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It's done when you can smell the nuts roasting and it has turned a pretty golden brown.
Place this into your storage bags or containers while it's still slightly warm. I used to store this in empty oat containers. Then, I found my new faves - 1/2 gallon canning jars. Can I just say I love these things? They have been in use non-stop for everything from granola to tea every since I bought them. Bunny trail...I couldn't find them at Walmart, Meijer or any other places that I would expect to find them in the canning aisle of various stores. I found them at my local True Value Hardware Store. Incidentally, my True Value has the best selection of canning supplies anywhere. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...Now all that's left is to enjoy. Let's look at the finished granola in my new fave 1/2 gallon canning jars one more time, shall we?
Purdy, ain't it?
All right. That's all folks!
I'm linking this post to These Chicks Cooked.