Friday, September 28, 2012

An endless summer and homemade granola recipe

So, I really wasn't ready for summer to end. I'm still gazing longingly at pictures I took over the summer, still wearing my Keens, still have my summer dresses out, even though it's clearly too cold for them.

These are the things I am missing most:

The rush of adrenaline when the frigid waters of the north Atlantic hit my chest as I plunge into a wave on a sunny afternoon . . .

Watching my dog, happily off-leash, leading the way down a sunny path alongside blackberry brambles and stone fences . . .

The smells and tastes of a meal prepared in the company of loving friends.

And last, but certainly not least, MABEL'S HOMEMADE GRANOLA!

Diane made homemade granola at the restaurant and whenever the new bananas came in, I'd fix myself a bowl of yogurt with a big helping of homemade granola, topped with fresh slices of banana.

Ahhhhh, HOMEMADE GRANOLA!! Crunchy, fruity, with good grains and nuts, some sweetness, some cinnamon.

Now even though I lost weight this summer, I can't credit the homemade granola for that, because, as Diane says, there's nothing really lowfat about Mabel's homemade granola.

There are lots of ways to make granola, lots of different ingredients you can include, depending on your tastes. Mabel's granola has almonds, bran cereal and honey. I started experimenting with  making my own, using what ingredients I have on hand at my house. Here's what I came up with.

3 to 4 cups of rolled oats
2 cups chopped walnuts (good fat)
1/4 cup flax seed (good fat)
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup blue agave nectar (you can use honey if you prefer)
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted (bad fat, but trust me, your granola will suck without it)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt (because anything sweet needs salt)

Combine all of these ingredients in a big bowl and toss them well.

Some of these measurements are approximate. You need to taste your granola before you put it in the oven. Is it sweet enough for you? Maybe start with less sugar if you don't like it sweet. As my friend Jim said when he watched me make this, "I see," he said, "you just want oatmeal cookies for breakfast." Duh.

Spread the mixture across several cookie sheets. You don't want it piled too high because you want it all to be exposed to the heat.

Put it in a 350 degree oven and set the timer for 5 minutes. After five minutes, stir it up. You'll be stirring it up every two minutes after that. VERY IMPORTANT: After the first five minutes, just KEEP AN EYE ON IT. Because there's butter on it, it's like a cookie, IT CAN OVERCOOK AND BURN VERY QUICKLY! So keep an eye out, and the minute it starts to get a little brown around the edges after a couple turns, it's done.

Take it out, let it cool a minute or two, then toss in some dried fruit. I used both golden raisins and dark raisins. You can use dried cranberries, banana chips, dates, whatever.

You can see that there is only a slight color difference between the uncooked granola and the cooked granola. I don't like to completely toast it because then it's too crunchy. You want it to have a little of that toasted flavor but still have some moisture in the grains.

This is the way I like it for breakfast or even a late night snack. A bowl of vanilla yogurt, homemade granola, topped with fresh banana, and a side of homemade zucchini bread slathered with--you guessed it--butter!

YUM!


I'm partying with some sassy bloggers at:

The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday
My Repurposed Life Catch As Catch Can
504 Main Tickled Pink
Days of Chalk and Chocolate Friday Linky Party
Full Circle Creations All Star Block Party
Debbiedoo's Newbie Party
Ironstone Nest Tuesday Transformation
Our Delightful Home Show Me What You Got
Skip to My Lou Made By You Monday


10 comments:

  1. Yum! And such a pretty bowl and plate, to boot.

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  2. Wow! That is a yummy breakfast! Newest follower :) Blessings!
    Janiene

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    1. Thanks for visiting and following, Janiene!

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  3. Peggy, this sounds like a great recipe! And I think I may have all the ingredients - I love recipes like this.
    I'm hungry for YOUR breakfast, and it's 1 p.m. here!
    -Revi

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Revi. The nice thing about this recipe is it can work with whatever you have in your pantry. Bon appetite!

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  4. This looks delicious. I need to try your granola recipe. I always buy it but I think it is nice to make it b/c then you know what went into it. x

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  5. Thanks so much for the delicious recipe! I love homemade granola and I need to make this!

    Have a blessed and wonderful day!
    karianne

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    1. Thanks Karianne. Glad to have you stop in. I just ran out of my last batch so I definitely have to make more. I eat it like every other day.

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