Thursday, August 28, 2008
feelin' crunchy with granola
Yes, I'm alive. Our internet connection has been down for a couple weeks. Being on vacation from the computer is not all that bad. I felt a bit disconnected, but I quickly found myself less distracted during the day. I could go on about what we've been up to during the past weeks...blah, blah, blah. I'd rather not:)
Looking out the window, you'd think it was late September. There is a breeze in the air and the temperatures are down in the upper 70's. I have been baking a lot and planning more meals with a fall theme. Those comfort foods we all shun during the heat of the summer; we come to embrace with the first ring of the school bell. Among the pumpkin and banana breads, a hearty dish of macaroni and cheese, and a huge pot of red lentil stew ("dahl" for those Indian food fans out there), I've had a craving for granola. That crunchy, sweet, cinnamon-y concoction that has the perfect balance between what's good to eat and what you just plain crave.
I've always loved the stuff. My mom used to buy the Quaker Oats granola cereal. It was always kinda pricey for my family, and the boxes were small. I loved to get a bite with a big cluster of oats and a date or raisin to sweeten it up. From a box or homemade, it was all good to me.
Over the years, I've shied away from it from time to time. If I added up the fat grams or the total calories, my guilt would take over. I'm a much more rational eater now. The way I see it, I would rather get my fat and calories for the day from nuts and oats that from some processed junk I can't even name!
My recipe combines oats, almonds, pecans, coconut, maple syrup and raisins. The nuts and raisins can be substituted for whatever you have around. Try cashews, macadamia nuts, craisins, dried cherries. Just take some time to mix up a batch of this granola and see how long it lasts at your house:)
Coconut Almond Granola:
3 cups rolled oats (not quick-oats)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup coconut
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
5 T. dark brown sugar
5 T. pure maple syrup, or honey
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins, or other dried fruit
Heat oven to 250*
Combine oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon and brown sugar in a large bowl.
In separate medium sized bowl, combine syrup, oil and salt.
Mix together in large bowl and spread out onto 2 sheet pans.
Bake for 1 hour 15 min., stirring every 15 minutes.
It should be nicely browned when done. The granola will harden up as it cools.
Remove from oven and pour into large bowl. Stir in raisins. Allow to cool and keep in airtight container.
I like to eat mine as a snack, on yogurt or with milk as a cereal.
How do you like your granola??