Sunday, November 9

Pick-Me-Up Before You Go-Go Granola

Like all granolas, this recipe (see the previous post called 7 Foods for the Economic Downturn to understand the inspiration for this recipe) is simply a riff on a tried and true formula of oats, sugars, and add-ins like nuts and seeds toasted in a medium oven until golden. It's not as easy as buying a box, but it's very, very easy and incredibly less expensive. Keith and I developed it cooperatively...thanks, Keith!

Premium store-bought granolas like 18 Rabbits incorporate interesting, top quality extras like hazel nuts, maple syrup and cocoa nib, balancing the salt and sugar accordingly. For this recipe, we combined healthly components from Debra Madison's recipe with more baroque add-ins from the Cheese Board recipe and some interesting inspirations from 18 Rabbits. The cocoa nib is a great one, but go easy and get reasonably good quality nib otherwise the flavor can quickly turn from an earthy, nutty complementary flavor to Count Choccula. Here's the nutritional information.

Shameless plug here: click the "Follow this Blog" link in the left-hand column. You'll get an email when there's a new posting. Here's the recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: Super Easy

4 tbsp. butter
¼ cup almond oil
1 dash salt
1 cup almonds slivers, chopped (or sliced, unchopped)
1 cup pecans, chopped
½ cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon (so called "ceylon" or true cinnamon is preferred, since it's milder and richer in flavor)
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Dash of real vanilla extract

Dry stuffs

6 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds, (or flakes)
½ cup pumpkins seeds
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa nib, chopped into uniform, sesame seed sized bits

To keep this granola somewhat healthy, the sugary coating is minimized. If you like chunks of granola rather than a more cereal-like consistency, you'll need a bit more moisture and sugar and lay off on stirring it around.

Preheat the oven to 325°
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

Make the coating
1. Melt the butter over a low heat
2. Add the chopped nuts, raise the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes (until lightly brown)
3. Add the honey and brown sugar, reduce the heat to low and stir until melted
4. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla

1. In large bowl combine the dry stuffs
2. Add the coating and mix until oats are evenly coated

1. Spread the granola evenly over the 2 baking sheets
2. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes
3. Remove from oven and stir to redistribute the granola
4. Place back in the oven (swap shelves) and bake for 10 minutes more (or until golden brown)

Cool the granola completely before storing in an airtight container. It will last for a couple of weeks, and you'll save a boatload of cash.

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