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Granola

February 12, 2013

granola

By the looks of my kitchen, it looks as if the world was about to end. We have pounds and pounds of fresh fruit (peaches, figs, cherries, grapes), muesli bars, and cheese. And I just made enough granola to keep us alive for weeks (months? possibly a year). There’s granola everywhere. In jars, in Tupperware, in the crevices of the stove top. I even tried to give some away last night to a dinner guest, but was all out of jars.

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Why so much granola? First of all, the friends who are staying with us all this month are the kind of friends who can stuff our fridge with coconuts and overload our internet data plan downloading B movies and we still love them. One is a scientifically trained nutritionist, the other, a Cross Fit enthusiast who counts the grams of protein he consumes in a day. I made us a breakfast cake and it took the five of us so long to eat it that it ended up going to the dog. So I tried a new tactic. Granola. High protein granola, to be exact. The nutritionist approves (it has flax, bran, wholegrain rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts and no added sugar), the Cross Fitter loves, and even my habitual housemates, breakfast loving purists as they are, woke up early with granola on their minds.photo 2-1

Granola is essentially just a mixture of dry things (oats, flax, seeds, nuts, whatever you want) and wet things (honey, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, whatever you want) that you mix together. The only thing tricky about this granola is that the quantities are so enormous that even my largest bowl, the one I stole from an ice cream shop I used to work at (the one that was big enough to hold all the sprinkles for dipping, a big f*#&$ing bowl), couldn’t handle it all. Mixing the wet with the dry meant that granola ended up everywhere. Even Charlie, my loyal sidekick in the kitchen slash vacuum cleaner, gave up searching for all the errant sunflower seeds. To bake it, I used a huge baking dish and a tray and yeah, it was messy. Granola everywhere. Everywhere!

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But you know what? It’s really ridiculously delicious. It’s not too sweet, it’s crunchy, it’s full of all your favorite things (I added chopped dried figs, raisins, almonds and currants). It’s perfect with milk or yogurt or on its own. And it’s substantial, it’ll keep you going all morning. And it lasts. Keep it in an airtight container for weeks or freeze it for months.

So if you’re in the Northeast of the US and under 3 feet of snow, you certainly have the time to make some granola to keep to alive if the next blizzard really cuts you off. If you’re in Australia, and it’s summer, granola is the perfect hot weather breakfast food (and SO much better than the muesli you all are so addicted to). If the world does end, find shelter with us. We have bad movies and granola, we can survive anything.

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GRANOLA

The proportions and ingredients are approximate. The oats are kind of mandatory, but other than that, feel free to add/subtract whatever you like. After it’s all baked, then you can add in dried fruit and chocolate if you want. The recipe below is very loosely based on a recipe from Cooks.com, which in original form is super high protein. The only thing to be careful for is burning. I didn’t have any problems, but most granola recipes warn that it burns very easily, so make sure you’re able to check on it every 5 minutes or so. If you’re not ready to have a kitchen full of granola (or lots of gifts to give away), half the recipe.

8 cups rolled oats
1 – 2 cups chopped almonds (I used whole)
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)
1 cup sunflower seeds (optional)
2 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup flax seeds
1 cup bran
2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional…you can use whatever spice you want, or nothing at all)
1 2/3 cup peanut butter (1 – 1 lb. jar) (I used salted crunchy, you can use whatever you like)
3/4 cup corn oil (I used canola)
1 cup honey (I used a little less)
1/4 cup maple syrup (to taste)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 cup dried figs, chopped
1 cup dried currants or similar
1 cup raisins, chopped
Preheat the oven to 325F/170C. In a HUGE bowl, mix all the dry ingredients except the dried fruit. In a pot on the stove, mix the wet ingredients (peanut butter, oil, honey, syrup, vanilla and water) over medium heat until it’s heated and combined fully. Pour the peanut buttery goo over the oat mixture and mix to coat. It should be just coated; if not, add a few sprinkles of water until it’s all moistened.
Line a huge roasting pan and a tray (or as many trays as you need) with parchment paper. Spread the mixture evenly onto the trays and bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes total. Try to avoid putting a tray near the bottom of the oven, as it might burn. Check and mix the granola often to make sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t burn. It will be done when it’s lightly golden brown. Turn off the oven and let it cool inside, with the door slightly ajar. It will clump slightly as it cools.
When the granola is totally cool, mix in the chopped fruit. Store in an airtight container for weeks or freeze. Makes a ton.
Eat with milk, or Greek yogurt, or on ice cream or by the handful.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cressida Gaukroger permalink
    February 12, 2013 9:29 am

    This looks amazing! Definitely making a big batch as soon as we move into our new apartment!

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  1. Hippie Granola « The Standard of Taste

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