May 1, 2009

now officially a "granola-eating hippie"

*I've tweaked my granola recipe... Read below for the updates!*

Y'all are getting spoiled, what with this one post every day, right?

Well I hope you are recognizing some improvements in my kitchen. Like, more and more things are actually turning out not just edible, but good. And I am pleased to say that this post is another success story; and, it gets me closer to my goal of being totally homemade.

Once I had success with the homemade yogurt, I needed a sweet and crunchy counterpart to my new dairy item. Granola seemed the perfect addition. Now, there are as many granola recipes out there as you can imagine, but they're all riffs on a general theme: oats with stuff, baked and cooled to create a crunch-worthy snack. But I’m pretty picky about granola; I don’t like it too nutty, and if there are nuts in it I don’t want them to be huge (whole almonds get really hard when they’re baked), and I don’t like a lot of spices, and I really don't want raisins in it, and if it’s just the faintest bit burned I won’t touch it, and.... The list goes on.

Surely this seems odd, as someone who’s continually making strides toward a complete hippie transformation; it started with the simple act of devout recycling and here I am making my own yogurt. I’d generally put granola-making (since it’s SO FRIGGIN EASY) at the front of the hippie transformation list (the phrase “granola-eating hippie” comes to mind), but I’ve saved it until after I took on yogurt and ordered three pounds of sprouts.

Texas Pecan Granola

1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup local wildflower honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract

3 cups rolled oats
1 handful chopped pecans
1 handful sliced almonds
1 small handful sesame seeds
1 small handful sunflower seeds
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp toasted wheat germ

Preheat oven to 350. In large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat oil, honey, and vanilla extract on stovetop until bubbling, stirring occasionally. (maybe until it's almost boiling; you just want it incorporated. I heated it until it smelled caramel-ly).

Pour hot liquids into dry mixture and stir until all the oats have been thoroughly coated. Pour coated oats (say that 3 times fast) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 25 minutes, or until it smells nice and toasty in your home.

Remove from oven and let cool (it’ll get crunchy as it cools). Once it cools, feel free to add dried fruit at will, or even (gasp) chocolate or caramel chips. Store in an airtight container for as long as you can keep this stuff on hand—it’ll go fast, I promise.