Monday, October 19, 2009

DIY Granola

This week I've been in Miami taking exams (I passed!) and hanging out with family and friends. It's been great to have an extended time at home to just chill and really enjoy quantity of time with my sisters and parents. The other great thing about being home is that you can enjoy the surprises that come with the daily rhythms of life. For example, every six weeks or so my mom's long time hairdresser and friend, Jan, comes to the house to freshen up Mom's do and this time, she brought a breakfast surprise along with her scissors and tints. Fresh homemade granola! Now, I'm typically not a huge granola fan. I like the crunch and the health benefits, but most of the pre-packaged stuff out there is just too sweet for me. Jan's granola, which she came to by way of another client, Nadine, has just the right amount of sweetness and crunch to make for guilt-free snacking and hearty breakfasts especially when paired with greek yogurt and fresh berries. We were so impressed that we headed out to Whole Foods to gather up the ingredients. Delicious and easy to make this granola also makes a great gifts for family and friends. Jan generously shared her recipe with us and I pass it on to you. Happy Crunching!

Granola Recipe
4 ½ cup Rolled Oats
1 cup Sunflower seeds
¼ cup white sesame seeds
1 ½ cup almonds
½ cup ground flaxseed
¾ cup apple sauce (unsweetened)
2 tbsp sunflower oil (or canola)
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
¼ clover honey
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups raisins or other dried fruit
Mix everything except the dried fruit in a very large mixing bowl. Spray some Pam on the baking sheets. Then spread out the granola on two baking sheets with edges. Bake in 300-325 degree oven for 40 minutes, turning once about halfway through. Take out of the oven, sprinkle with the dried fruit and let cool before placing in a air-tight container. The granola will keep for about a week
Hands-on notes: Depending on how your oven heats, you may need to leave the granola in there for a little longer or vary the temperature. You want the granola to be golden brown and crunchy. If the granola doesn't look dry enough when you first take it out of the oven don't worry, it will set up a bit more as it cools.
Serving suggestions: Mix with greek yogurt and fresh berries. Heat up some milk and pour it over the granola for those chilly winter days.

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