Friday, January 6, 2012

Homemade Granola

I made a few different food gifts this year for Christmas. It has become a very economical way to love on our many cousins, aunts, and uncles that we get to visit with every winter.

This year, I went with a sort of breakfast theme, serving up granola, hot cocoa mix, and a homemade jar of jam, fruit butter, or jelly.

I got this recipe for homemade granola from our cousin, Sarah. She's a great cook and has her own {blog}too. I love making my own granola because I can control what goes in it, like the amount of sugar, and I can use whatever I have in my cupboards to make it unique each time. 

First, preheat the oven to 275F. Prepare your baking pan (either a 9x13 pan or a cookie sheet with edges) by covering it with aluminum foil and spraying it with cooking spray.

Second, mix up all of the dry ingredients: oats, wheat germ, salt, brown sugar, nuts, and dried fruit. You can wait to add the dried fruit until the middle of the baking process (unlike how I did it this time) so that the fruit doesn't taste too "cooked."

Then you mix the wet ingredients (no picture, sorry!) in a small saucepan: maple syrup (I use sugar-free pancake syrup), flavorings like vanilla or almond extract and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, vegetable oil, and a little bit of water. Heat it up until it reaches a simmer, then take it off the heat and pour it onto the dry ingredient mix. Stir thoroughly so that all of the oats are coated with the wet mixture.

Then, pour out the granola onto your prepared cookie sheet. Make sure that it's evenly spread out. I like to pat mine down flat so that the grains actually look like one large sheet. When it bakes, it will become crunchy and become little clusters.

I packaged my granola in these little bags that I found on eBay.  Aren't they cute? I especially like the peekaboo windows. I printed up labels and it was ready to deliver to the family!

Here's the recipe:
Homemade Granola
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar blend)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Extra Ingredients (see complete list below)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used sugar free maple syrup)
3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
1 Tb. water
Flavoring (see below)

Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, and then set aside. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and Extra Ingredients --except dried fruit -- in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water and any Flavoring indicated below to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Spread out evenly and press it down flat. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool. Granola can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.

1. Classic Granola
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dark or golden raisins
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
You can replace the 1/4 cup of maple syrup with 2 Tbs. each of maple syrup and molasses.

2. Crunchy Granola
Extra Ingredients: 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 2 Tbs. sesame seeds, 6 Tbs. currants
Flavoring: none

3. Granola with Tropical Flavoring
Add the coconut along with the cashews and banana chips.
Extra Ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped roasted unsalted cashews, 1/4 cup chopped banana chips, 1/4 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/4 cup chopped dried pineapple
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

4. Granola with Cherries and Almonds
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup sliced almonds, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dried cherries
Flavoring: 3/4 tsp. almond extract

No comments:

Post a Comment