Monday, June 7, 2010

Granola Girl

I really don't eat a lot of granola, for various reasons. Firstly, the store bought stuff is packed with fat and sugar, and I don't need or like loads of fat and sugar. Secondly, most store bought granolas are made with almonds.

Almonds, my friends, don't like me. Or I don't like them. Or something like that.

I have Oral Allergy Syndrome, which means that while ingesting almonds will not kill me like a true nut allergy, they make me extremely uncomfortable. Usually it depends on a variety of factors; the time of year, how many I eat, how processed they've been, etc. I find it easiest to just avoid them altogether.

So the beauty of making my own granola is that I control what goes in, and I can eat it. YUM.

The June 2010 issue of Bon Appetit has a great recipe for granola, and it was my first attempt. I used some pecans, dried apricots, dried sour cherries, and then a bunch of leftover President's Choice dried berry mix. It was delicious! My favorite way to eat this has been to sprinkle it on my yogurt, but you could eat it by itself with milk, on your cereal, or as a snack. The best thing is that it's not very sweet, nor does it have a lot of oil. Win, win!

Adapted from Bon Appetit June 2010

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup of assorted dried fruit

Pre-heat your oven to 300 F. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pecans, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan on low-ish heat, warm the honey and oil together, stirring, until smooth. Pour over the oat mixture and toss.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, then spread out the oat mixture onto it. Bake, but stir it around every 10 minutes or so, until it's beautiful golden brown (about 40 minutes total, maybe). Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool, then stir in the dried fruit. It lasts about a week, and you can store it in an airtight container. I just put it in a huge mason jar with a good lid, in my cupboard.

Makes about 5 cups

**According to the article you can tweak this all you want, by varying the different kinds of nuts, spices, or fruit. I would like to try using maple syrup instead of honey, with cashews instead of the pecans. I'll let you know how those turn out. In the meantime, this is decidedly my new favorite treat.

**OH! And before I forget, this makes a really super gift if you portion it out into pretty mason jars, then tie a cute ribbon around the top and add a nice tag.

**Edited to add: We have made this twice so far. The maple syrup/cashew version was amazing, and we practically scarfed down the whole batch as fast as we could. I highly recommend it!
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