Monday, January 05, 2009
I have been trying to wean my family off of store bought breakfast cereal. It is so expensive and the options are limited. I refuse to buy most store brand cereals because they usually contain a preservative called BHT that I am not a fan of and high fructose corn syrup which I think is one of the most evil ingredients ever to be added to our food. If we could remove that from our food I think our country would be a lot healthier. I won't go off on that now. Sorry for the rant. Ok back to cereal. So the other option is to buy the more expensive health store versions which I like a lot better but at almost $4.00 a box which only lasts in my house for two days it gets quite pricey. On the weekends I make eggs and pancakes but I can't manage to cook that much on school days. I have tried oatmeal and my kids won't touch it. John used to make batches of granola for us several years ago so I decided to give it a try. We love granola but again the store bought versions are even pricier than boxed cereal.
I made the following recipe this morning and tested it on the kids (and myself) for our afternoon snack. They both gave it the thumbs up while spooning mouthfuls of it mixed with rice milk.
The following recipe which I call Rockin' Granola is adapted from a recipe called Classic Crunchy Granola from the The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. My version adds combines honey and maple syrup and adds a bit more, plus I omit a few things and added a few things.
One last thing to note about my recipes. I am one of those people who don't always measure things so I will give an approximate measurement of somethings but I will keep it on the small side so you can add more (as I usually do). I will note these items which are not exact.
Ok ok here is the recipe
makes about 6 cups
4 cups rolled oats (don't buy the quick oats)
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 (+) cup chopped pecans. ** I used a little bit more than 1/2 cup. Depends on how nutty you like your granola. I just happened to have pecans in the house leftover so I used those but you could use sliced almonds or cashews too. I might try more than one kind of nut in my next batch.
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup of honey
2 + tablespoons safflower oil
1/3 cup chopped up apple rings (optional. I personally don't like a lot of dried fruit in my granola so I stick with a smaller amount of the dried apples and I chop them small.)
Cinnamon to taste. I use probably almost 1 tablespoon of Cinnamon. I am a Cinnamon addict though.
Nutmeg - 1 to 2 dashes.
1. Preheat oven to 275. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. Combine oats, wheat germ, and nuts in a large mixing bowl. Stir well.
3. Combine the maple syrup and 2 of the tablespoons of oil in a small container.
4. Combine the honey and just enough oil to thin out the honey a bit. No more than 1 tablespoon in a small container.
5. Drizzle the maple syrup mixture into the oat mixture, stirring constantly as you go until well covered.
6. At this point I felt it needed more so this is where I add the honey mixture as well. Drizzle some or all of this mixture mixing as you go.
7. Spread on the baking sheet and bake, stirring every 10 minutes 30 minutes or until golden.
8. Let the granola cool on the baking sheet. Transfer to glass containers for storage.
**experiment with the amount of honey you add. I like how it binds everything together so I thought it needed some added to it instead of just the maple syrup. The measurement of the honey is not exact however. I wouldn't do more than I listed but you could do a bit less.