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Life with Food

Granola My Heart

I was talking with a sweet friend recently and found a shared love of granola.  She asked for my recipe, and since this particular recipe just came out of the oven, I thought I’d share it here in case there are any other granola-lovers out there.  This recipe was adapted from a blog here, but modified it extensively because of a few ingredients I loathe and the recipe turning out too dry and thus not clumpy the first time I made this.  Aaron and I typically eat this over blueberry (Aaron) or vanilla (Roxie) yogurt, but it would also be a great cereal.  Unfortunately, it’s not great for you calorie or carb-wise in large quantities, so we keep the serving size small (a 1/4 to 1/3 cup).

Ingredients:
3 cups quick-cooking oats
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup oat bran
1-1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. kosher salt
1 cup natural, unsweetened (or homemade!) apple sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 T. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla extract
2-1/2 to 3 cups almonds and/or walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup flax-seeds

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 300° and place the two oven racks on the top third and bottom third of the oven.  In a large bowl, combine both oats, cinnamon, nuts, salt, flax-seeds, and oat bran.  In a separate bowl, combine the apple sauce, honey, brown sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, making sure the wet mixture is evening distributed among the dry ingredients.  Pour the granola onto 2 hotel pans (or baking sheets – a cookie sheet with at least some type of side, really).
With your hands, squeeze clumps together to make bigger chunks than what would already be present after stirring the wet ingredients into the dry.  This is your chance to control the texture.  Make bigger chunks if you want to eat this as a cereal; or make a bit smaller pieces if you are a yogurt/granola person like the Tetzlaffs.  Right before placing the sheets in the oven, give the pans a little shake to make sure things are evenly distributed.
Bake for 20 minutes, then using a large spatula, stir/flip both pans so every piece is in a different location than before.  Take a second to make certain the clumps are how you want them, then give each pan a shake again before placing the pans back in the oven.  Rotate the pans when they go back for this second round and bake until the granola is golden and and dry, about 20-30 minutes.  Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheets, then transfer into a storage container.

Tips:

  1. We store our granola in an old gallon ice cream bucket.  This recipe fits perfectly into that container.
  2. Don’t be alarmed if the baking time goes past what is listed above.  Some times, I bake the pans for over an hour.  It all depends on how wet the mixture is when it starts to bake.
  3. Have fun and substitute ingredients you like when you make this recipe.  Raisins, puffed wheat, different nuts, steel-cut oats – you name it; you can substitute in.  Just keep close to the overall measurements so you don’t also have to adjust the wet ingredients.
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