Saturday, September 13, 2008
Tonight in a frenzy of inspiration or maybe boredom, I embarked on a cupboard-cleaning expedition. And I say "expedition" sincerely, because the cupboards in my kitchen are really an adventure to explore - and organize...
When finished, I had neat shelves... and this mismatched pile of almost-empty containers, opened bags and packages; all those "things I should finish up soon". But what to do with dibs and dabs of coconut oil; big, sweet muscat raisins; a whole nutmeg, odd dry fruits and a bit of maple syrup?
Well, readers, you're probably light-years ahead of me here, it took me a moment...
But. Since I haven't made granola in ages, and I'm still craving the amazing granola we had at a bed-n-breakfast in Santa Fe this past summer, I decided I'd make my own feeble attempt at a somewhat healthy breakfast option for us...
Here ya go. Leave out or change whatever you don't have, don't like or don't want to use. Because I had so many odds and ends, this batch turned out pretty decadent with "extras" - not as awesome as Santa Fe, but still good. Enjoy.
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar (or whatever granulated sweetener you like)
1/2 cup maple syrup (or agave or honey)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut - I had some unsweetened, but it's harder to find, regular, sweetened would work.
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (because that's what I had. Use whatever you like)
a tiny pinch of fresh grated nutmeg if you like that sort of thing, which I do
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cups oats, ground fine
2 cups raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped, candied ginger
1/4 cup chopped dried apricot
(toss dried fruits with a Tbsp superfine sugar to keep them from sticking together)
Put coconut oil, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt into a large pot over low heat, and stir until sugar has dissolved.
Take pan off the stove, and stir in the nutmeg, ground flax and ground oats - mix well.
Add the 5 cups of oats and mix well. It'll take a while, you can drizzle in some orange or apple juice, a few drops at a time if it's REALLY dry (oats can vary in how dry they are...).
Spray one or two cookies sheets or jelly roll pans with cooking spray or the finest bit of oil...
Spread granola evenly onto pan(s). I pat it out flat but also "squeeze" it into little clumps because I like chunky granola. Do what you want...
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 for about 30 - 45 minutes, stirring about every 10-15 minutes, until evenly toasted and golden. Break up clumps if they are too big or not browning evenly. Keep your eye on the granola as it browns fast.
As soon as it comes out of the oven, mix in the dried fruits. Mix well, but be careful, it'll be warm...
Allow to cool to room temperature, then store in an air-tight container.
Serve with soy milk, soy yogurt or crumbled over applesauce or chopped peaches. Yum.