04 November 2011

Homemade Granola - and Granola Parfaits


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!

Homemade Granola

(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.

18 comments:

Jenn said...

Gorgeous picture, Jean! I wish I could reach right into my computer and grab it!! I so adore granola but I have never made my own... will have to rectify that! Thanks for sharing!

Jean said...

Thanks, Jenn! I hope you'll like it as much as we do - my husband really loves it!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Will it hurt your site and your credibility if I give this my seal of approval? Looks good, sounds good, and I'll take your word for it that it tastes good. Maple syrup wouldn't be my choice for a sweetener, though. Some berry syrup maybe or cherry juice.

Jean said...

Oh no! The renowned Sully Seal of Approval. Well, there goes my reputation! You could sweeten it with other things, for sure. I've used honey on occasion. Apple juice concentrate. It's a very flexible recipe.

Dr. Kristofer Young said...

Jean,
Would you precede or follow that with green veggie juice?
Dr. Young

Jean said...

Precede, definitely! We always have our freshly made organic vegetable juice a while before eating anything.

Anonymous said...

Jean, I had the hair I could sit on....never looked good in bell bottoms...made my own whole grain bread...but never granola. I like the idea of less sweet...so I will give a try. I will add unsweetened coconut and substitute honey for maple syrup (my father was a bee keeper). BTW I also share your recipes with my sisters. They also love your clean ingredients.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S.
Lightarted Sue
http://lightartedliving.blogspot.com

Jean said...

Susan, ain't we cool?! :D I like it with honey, too; but I was very low on honey and didn't want to use it all up. Thanks for sharing my recipes with your sisters!

Mrs. Tuna said...

Wish raspberries were in season!

Jean said...

These might have been the last ones! Of course, in something like this, you could use frozen ones quite successfully.

Charles said...

Oh, I love homemade granola SO much - I've made it a couple of times now. You know, the last batch I made, with some goji berries... I never even ate it in the "intended" way... I ended up eating it with a spoon directly from the tin as a snack at night. Rather naughty but it was so moreish :D

I never seem to have maple syrup on hand when I make it though - I'll get some for next time, and I love you addition of nuts, seeds etc - sounds wonderful! (and the picture *looks* amazing too!

Jean said...

Thank you, Charles! You know, I often scoop some into a bowl and just eat it DRY - you're so right, it does make a wonderful snack at night, moreish! I got tired of running out of maple syrup when I was buying 12-ounce bottles, so I finally just splashed out and bought the megabuck 32-ounce jug.

Becky said...

Wow! This looks great. You pictures are so vivid too. I want some right now!

Jean said...

Thanks, Becky! (I just loooove compliments on my photos!) And pretty food just tastes better, I think.

Richard Sheppard said...

I agree! I find all the store-bought granolas way too sweet too. I've resorted to only putting nuts on my fruit & yoghurt in the mornings. But this homemade recipe sounds delicious!

Jean said...

Thanks, Richard! (I notice you spell yogurt/yoghurt the British way!)

celia said...

Your granola looks delicious, Jean! Over here in Australia we'd call it toasted muesli..

Jean said...

Celia, thank you, not just for the compliment (always appreciated) but for that bit of info. I'm always interested in things like that. The thing I've never liked about muesli is the rawness of it; good to know about toasted muesli!

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