Ask Holly: Homemade Granola

BY  |  Friday, Jan 28, 2011 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

Making really good granola is far easier than you would ever think. I was first inspired to make my own granola from my friends Carrie and Dean in Maine. Then I learned that the measurements and ingredients could be made to your liking, which makes it fun to make with kids–not to mention that it’s a healthy snack they actually ask for. The smell of this baking in your oven may even knock out some of your winter blues! So get the ingredients and make a batch this weekend.

Basic ingredients:

  1. Rolled oats
  2. Nuts
  3. Coconut, ground flax seed, bran (if you want to keep it movin’) to name a few
  4. Dry sweetener, such as brown sugar
  5. Wet ingredients: one part oil and one part sweet, such as honey or maple syrup
  6. Dried fruit

My directions can be altered according to your taste. If you want more sweet clusters, add more honey or maple syrup. If you want less fat or sugar add less oil and less honey or maple syrup. The beauty of making granola is if you stick with the basic components you really cannot fail.

Directions

Heat oven to 250°

Put all dried ingredients in to a large bowl and  just like you were making  Salad Francois, mix, mix, toss, toss, mix, mix, toss, toss, mix, toss, toss, mix…..

Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl then pour it into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. COOKS TIP: Brown sugar can clump together so make sure you have the little lumps all smashed up.

Spread on a large baking sheet and bake at 250° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or 1 hour and 30 minutes (for larger batches). Stir every 30 minutes or so.

Take out and let cool

Add dried fruit

Store in an air tight container. I honestly cannot tell you how much this makes as it gets picked at in my house so many times before I pour it into a jar. I never have the same amount twice.

Granola Variations and Recipes

CHERRY, ALMOND, CINNAMON GRANOLA
3 cups rolled oats or old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup sweetened coconut (optional)
1/2 ground flax seed (optional)
1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)
1/3 cup honey
1/4-1/2 cup of vegetable oil (1/2 cup if adding the coconut and flax seed)
1 cup chopped Dried Tart Sweetened Michigan Cherries*

BANANA, MAPLE, PECAN GRANOLA
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup chopped dried bananas
1 cup sweetened coconut (optional)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4-1/2 cup of vegetable oil (1/2 cup if adding the coconut)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup of chopped dried bananas

CRANBERRY, WALNUT GRANOLA
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups chopped walnuts
1-1/2 cup bran cereal such as Kellogg’s All Bran (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
1/3 cup of honey
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries

*I buy dried cherries in bulk from Leelanau Fruit Company. They are $28 for a 5 lb. bag plus $5 shipping, which is less expensive than any I have found in the grocery stores (not to mention supporting my struggling, childhood home state and a lovely farm). They are also yummier than local options. If you think you won’t go through that many dried cherries, you have never tried these cherries. We go through a 5 lb. bag every three months! Cook them in oatmeal. Soak them in port or rum for a post shoveling (well deserved) treat.
They also sell chocolate covered dried cherries and cherry juice.

Order away. I will be posting more things to do with dried cherries, now called America’s super fruit.

Questions? Just Ask Holly in comments.

2 Comments

  1. POSTED BY unemploymentgallery  |  January 29, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    Great recipes Holly- Are you using organic cherries?

    Cherries come up as #2 on the top 12 list of ‘must buy organics’ on the family education site posted below. We buy organic produce only if it is a heavily sprayed fruit or vegetable and cherries are definitely over-sprayed.
    As my favorite French chef would say at the end of every show “Happy Cooking!”
    (Though I never once ever heard him mention the word organic:)

    http://life.familyeducation.com/slideshow/health-and-safety/57915.html

  2. POSTED BY hollykorusjenkins  |  February 01, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    I did not uses organic cherries for this recipe. One of the biggest cherry growers in the county right now is Traverse Bay Farms. I spoke with Andy Lapoint from TBF and he was a wonderful source of information. They are currently out of organic cherries for the non commercial buyer. Try their Dried Natural Tart Cherries (no added sugar). They grow in something called “transitional fields” They are not sprayed but not certified organic.-http://www.traversebayfarms.com/driedcherries.htm

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