Sunday, 27 January 2013

Delicious Homemade Granola

I love granola. I mean love it! Problem is, most store brand granola is loaded with sugar, preservatives, and... (shudder) almonds! Almonds and I just don't get along. That's what is so  awesome about making your own granola- you can customize it in a way that suits you and your dietary needs! 

For my granola, I used rolled oats, wheat germ, unsalted sunflower seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg, maple syrup, honey, and raisins! Some other mix-ins that could be fun are pecans, almonds, shredded coconut, agave, and other dried fruits. You could make a vastly different batch every time using this same method- how fun! 

Homemade Granola Method
-10 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
-3/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
-1 cup wheat germ
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-3/4 cup canola or grapeseed oil 
-1 cup maple syrup
-1/2 cup honey
-1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
-raisins (or other dried fruit)- to your liking 

Preheat your oven to 250*F and position both racks in the upper two-thirds of the oven. 

Combine all dry ingredients in a very large bowl. Mix well. 
In a smaller bowl, whisk together wet ingredients together to make a uniform syrup. Pour over dry ingredients, and mix well until everything is evenly coated. Make sure there are no dry pockets, or pools of syrup at the bottom of the bowl. 

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the granola evenly. I used two full-sized sheets and just divided the granola in two, and it was spread thin enough. 

Bake the granola for 30 minutes. Then shuffle, and switch tray positions and bake for another thirty minutes. Then shuffle, switch and bake for another 30 minutes, watching carefully to prevent over-browning. 

Turn off the oven, and leave the granola in there to cool and firm up for up to 6 hours, or as little as an hour. The granola crisps up as it cools. 

Finally, mix in the dried fruit before storing. Store in an airtight container for 3 weeks at room temperature, or freeze for up to 6 months and thaw at room temperature. Great with milk, yogurt or on its own! 


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