May 4, 2010

Make your granola at home... won't be sorry! It costs about half as much as store bought granola, you get to customize it to your taste/health factor preference, and it tastes better! Not to mention, it makes your house smell amazing all afternoon.
 This weekend, I gardened and made granola. After a very stressful Friday, it was exactly what I needed to feel like myself again. I love making granola because you can start with a base recipe, and just get creative and add whatever your heart desires. I love to go to the bulk section at the local healthy market (Sunflower Market for those of you in CO) and choose my ingredients, it's fun to try different combinations of nuts, seeds and dried fruit to come up with new flavor profiles.

I got my base recipe from none other than Mr. Alton Brown, I just used this as a guide for measurements and cooking time. I had read online that if you mix in an egg white, it will give the granola more clusters, so I decided to give that a try as well.

Toasty Granola with Coconut and Cranberries
3 cups oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup shaved (or shredded) unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey extra if too dry
1 egg white
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Combine the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, vanilla and salt. It will become thick, with a honey like consistency. Combine both mixtures and stir in the egg white (if the granola seems too dry, mix in 2 tbsp of honey).

Pour into 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. Remove from oven and transfer all the granola into the same vessel, mix in the cranberries, and enjoy!

This turned out to be so yummy, it is perfect in Greek yogurt with a little honey. Zak actually deemed it "the most delicious food ever." Well, I don't know about that, but it is some of the best granola I've had.

It might get a little quiet around here in the next few weeks, because my family is going through a bit of a tough time, and my energy will be used up supporting them in any way that I can. Please bear with me if my posts are few and far between.


Ali said...

Oh man. Homemade granola is the bees knees, ankles, calves, etc. That looks delish! Thanks for the egg white tip, too :)

I hope all turns out well for you and your family. Hang in there, Jessi.

Jessi B. said...

Ali, tru dat. The egg whites worked pretty well, I will probably add 2 instead of 1 next time because I love it clumpy. Thanks for the encouragement, I really appreciate it :)