Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nutty granola

I’ve made granola from time to time over the years but never consistently.

I love it on top of yogurt, but once my favorite yogurt became unavailable, I gave up on it for almost a year.

I’m on a yogurt kick again, so I decided to try some new granolas. I also wanted a granola I could eat as a breakfast cereal with fresh fruit and milk.

I started reading recipes, as I always do, and pulled out a recipe from Ginny Tarleton for soy nut granola I had made a number of times. I knew I didn’t want to use soy nuts this time around because they hurt my teeth when I bite down on them.

I read that recipe and several others before coming up with a recipe that combines plenty of healthy ingredients including rolled oats and flax seed meal, which I keep in my freezer for bread baking.

For my nuts I chose pecans and almonds. I love toasted pecans (who doesn’t!) and thought they’d add a wonderful addition to the granola, and they did. Next time I make this, I will probably add 1 cup instead of the half-cup I added the first time. I also had roasted almonds on hand, so I chopped them in my food processor and mixed them in as well. (Come to think of it, I didn’t have to buy anything special for this recipe.)

Many granola recipes I read have dried fruit, but I’m not a big fan of dried fruit, so I didn’t add it to mine.

Once mixed, the granola is baked at 325 degrees until nice and brown. You will smell the toasted pecans. It will not have a crunch until it has cooled, so don’t keep baking it until it crunches!

This is a very good granola. I’ve had it sprinkled on vanilla yogurt topped with strawberries and as a breakfast cereal with milk and strawberries. (Can’t wait to try it with blueberries.) It was a very filling breakfast.

Many recipes for granola add cinnamon, and you can add it to this one if you’d like. I made a delicious granola this winter that had cinnamon, and it was good, but I prefer it without. And, you can certainly substitute the type of nut you prefer in this recipe and throw in some dried fruit for good measure!

Easy Nutty Granola
  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (I used roasted almonds)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, use a spoon to mix oats, almonds, pecans, flaxseed meal and brown sugar. In a small bowl, whisk vanilla, oil, honey and apple juice. Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir with a large spoon until blended.

Pour mixture on large cookie sheet or two smaller ones prepared with cooking spray.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Take out of oven and stir. Bake for another 10 minutes. Depending on how thick your granola is on the pan, you may need another 5 to 10 minutes.

The granola will harden some after it cools.

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