Saturday, September 22, 2007

granola yay

Despite having about 650 pages of thick reading to do before Monday (I'm down to about 170, now!) and several pages of writing to do, I decided tonight was the night to make granola. At least I could read while it was in the oven.

I tend to be pretty competent in the kitchen, but it is always lovely to try something new and have it turn out well the first time, especially when you sort of make it up as you go along. So I perused a whole bunch of granola recipes, online and off, and decided that as long as I didn't get it soggy before it went in the oven, I could do whatever I wanted. Here's what I ended up with, more or less (I don't measure all that carefully...)

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup hot water (less for smaller clumps)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar (optional - I have a bit of a sweet tooth)
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup raisins

Mix all the dry ingredients together (except the sugar, dates, and raisins), then mix in the wet stuff. Spread in a well-greased baking pan (I used a baking sheet with deep edges) and use a spoon or spatula to spread/chop it out to approximately the size chunks you want. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Stick it in a pre-heated, 325 F oven (that's about 165 C) until it's golden brown and just starting to crisp up. Stir it about every 10 minutes to keep the clumps the right size and to spread it around so it dries evenly. It took about an hour for me. Pour into a large bowl to mix in the dates and raisins, then spread it back onto the baking sheet to cool. I understand that it's going to crisp up as it cools...mine came out of the oven less than 10 minutes ago, so I'm taking that on faith. But just look at the perfect size of these clumps:

I couldn't wait for it to cool, crispy or not, and spooned a bit into a bowl with some of the utterly amazing goats' milk yoghurt that I bought at the farmers' market this morning. A trusted cookbook tells me fresh granola should keep for a long time in the fridge, but I don't think I'll have any trouble using it up. Happiness in a cereal!

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