Granola

The chicks are all doing well and already seem bigger today than they were yesterday! My camera finally died, so there will be no more pictorial step-by-steps…I will still do some instructional things and try to be as descriptive as possible 🙂

Yesterday I made granola. Homemade cereal is one of the greatest things you can make for yourself. It is far healthier than anything you can buy in the store. You know exactly what’s in it and where it came from and you control the level of sweetness and all the ingredients. It’s also very simple to make and for pennies you can make far more than you could buy in the store.  If you grow and dry your own fruit, the cost is even less. Raise your own bees and it becomes cheaper still. I grew up  eating homemade granola as breakfast cereal, as a topping for yogurt or ice cream and even pressed into granola bars or incorporated into cookie dough or bread dough. Really, you are only limited by your imagination.

I do not have a formal recipe for my granola. I usually use what I have on hand, occasionally I will buy things specifically for it. In this particular batch I used rolled oats, flax meal, toasted wheat germ, slivered almonds, crushed dried apples (that I dehydrated), crushed dried bananas (that I dehydrated), chopped dates and golden raisins. When I make mine, I mix the oats, flax, wheat germ and almonds together so everything is incorporated fairly evenly. I used about 4-5 cups of oats and about a cup each of the wheat germ, flax meal and almonds. Then I pour honey over it and mix it up. I keep adding honey until everything is evenly coated. It usually will take less than you think. I would say for my batch I used a total of maybe 1 cup of honey (maybe). I also add a bit of oil to mine. You do not have to add oil, but I find it helps distribute the honey and keeps it from sticking to the pan…you only need a very little, say 1/4 cup, of any flavorless oil. I use canola. Notice at this point I have not added any fruit. You do not want your fruit to become overly hard during the baking process. So I cook my granola, let it cool, then add my fruit. I bake it in a shallow pan at 250 degrees for about an hour and a half, stirring every 15-20 mins so it all browns evenly. Once it’s a nice golden color, the nuts are nicely toasted and it’s mostly dry throughout, remove it from the oven and let it cool…I pour mine into a bowl and will toss it every few minutes. If you don’t toss it or stir it up, steam will build up and make it soggy. Once it’s cool add the fruits and bag it up. I added about 2 handfuls of each of the different fruits and my batch filled a gallon size zip top bag to the very top.

You can really customize the granola to taste however you want…Make an Apple Cinnamon granola by adding a couple of tablespoons of cinnamon and only using apples…Or make a Maple Granola by using maple syrup instead of honey. Or use brown sugar instead of honey (mix it with the oil and pour over). Use dried blueberries or cranberries or strawberries. Pecans instead of almonds. Your choices are limitless 🙂

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Filed under DIY, In the Kitchen, Step by Step

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