My Granola Recipe!

Well, one request is hardly the tide of popular demand, but since I aim to please, and because Lara asked me so nicely in my earlier post today, I’m posting “my” homemade granola recipe.

Now, this is a recipe I’ve modified quite a bit off a very popular AllRecipes.com recipe, but because I’ve reduced the fat content so much and added more spice, plus monkeyed with the nuts listed, I think I can go out on a limb and call it “my” recipe. :)

OH! It’s an hour later and I just realized I didn’t say how many servings it makes. Allrecipes says it’s about 30 servings, but I’m thinking those are 1/2 cup or less. Also, I can’t tell ya how many calories or fat it has, since I’ve modified the recipe. It’s a good source of Omega 3s with all the flax and walnuts. I’d even increase the flax to 3/4 or 1 cup, myself, next time around.

Steff’s Homemade “Cran-crazy” Granola

8 cups of large-flake oatmeal (not the quick-cooking kind)
1.5 cups wheat germ
1.5 cups oat or wheat bran
1/2 cup flax seeds
1.5 cups chopped almonds
1.5 cups chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup dark brown or demerara sugar
(richer-tasting than regular brown, and my preference)

Put all of the above in one huge, honking bowl. Mix it up real good. And preheat your oven to about 275 degrees F. (The original recipe calls for 325, but I found it dried too quickly and cooked unevenly, and I made three batches yesterday. 275 worked the best.)

Hang onto that bad boy for a few minutes while you get the liquids ready:

1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup unfiltered apple juice
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix everything but the vanilla in a saucepan and heat it over medium to medium-high heat until it boils. Take it off the heat, mix again, add your vanilla, mix again, and then pour over your oats-filled bowl.

Mix it up really good until there’s no wheat germ or oat brain lingering at the bottom of the bowl. Try to avoid large chunks because the middle won’t dry and get properly crunchy during the baking.

Foil-line two cookie sheets and then divide the bowl between both sheets. Layer it out evenly, making sure the entire sheet’s covered and level.

Make sure your oven racks are set in the two central slots, and slide your trays in. You want to bake it for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove your trays, mix the granola thoroughly on the tray to get all the cookied bitsies in from the outer edges, and then put ’em back in the oven — rotating each tray 180 degrees and putting it on the opposite shelf that it was on last time.

Rinse and repeat.

No, seriously, cook ’em another 20 minutes, check for moisture, and decide if you need to cook it longer. You don’t want it 100% dried and crunchy — maybe 85%, because the cooling process will evaporate some moisture. If it’s not fully cooked, use your judgment and cook it in short burts of 5-7 minutes, checking at least that often and mixing it each time.

2 cups cranberries

Once you’re satisfied it’s cooked– and be careful! it burns quickly– then pull ’em out and let ’em cool. When cooled, mix in your cranberries. When it’s 100% cool (if it’s at all warm, it’ll steam and invite the early onslaught of mold), put in an airtight container, and get happy. Should keep a minimum of three weeks.

Lemme know whatcha think!!! :)