04 November 2011
Homemade granola is the only way to go if, like me, you find all the store-bought granolas far too sweet. And, I must say, making homemade granola makes me feel like I'm "back in the day" ... of bell bottoms, peasant blouses and hair past my waist (I do miss the hair). This granola is even-textured, great for parfaits, doesn't make clusters. Making clusters takes sugar, and quite a bit of it. I like a granola that can be a real meal rather than a sugary dessert.
For "everyday" breakfast, a half cup of granola with some organic rice milk is fine. But for a special occasion breakfast, I like to make granola parfaits with yogurt and fruit--fresh organic berries when they're available. Store-bought vanilla yogurt is much too sweet for my taste, so I buy organic plain nonfat yogurt and lightly sweeten it with 2 teaspoons real maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract per cup of yogurt.
An 8-ounce glass not filled to the rim holds about a 3/4-cup serving, which is just about right for most people. Depending on the size and shape of your glasses, allow perhaps 1/4 cup each of granola, yogurt and fruit for each serving. If the glass is taller than it is wide, you can probably make 2 layers of each. Garnish each with several strips of orange zest or a mint leaf. Would love to hear from you, so do leave a comment!
(Makes 5 cups / 10 servings)
1/4 cup organic canola oil
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill organic extra thick)
1 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts and seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried currants or other dried fruit
1 Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In small saucepan, heat canola oil and maple syrup just to a simmer. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
2 Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt. Stir in heated oil and syrup. Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet you've oiled or sprayed with cooking spray. A 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan is the bare minimum size, but I prefer to use my 18x13x1-inch half-sheet pan.
3 Bake at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes for even browning. Watch closely during the last 10 minutes if you have any doubts about the accuracy of your oven temperature. Remove from oven. Stir in dried fruit. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Transfer to sealed container and store in refrigerator.