Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Homemade Granola: Two Takes
I'm a big fan of snacking. When I'm at home, I graze all day. When I'm at work, I bring food so I don't have to die of starvation between meals. When I'm getting tired late at night, I decide that it's the perfect time for another snack. "Hey, honey, let's have some brie on crackers, and then some ice cream with fudge sauce, and then some wine, and then go to bed so we can gain weight while we sleep!" Okay, so maybe it's not that bad. But I do like my snacks. Granola is one of my favorites, because it tastes better than carrot sticks and is still healthier than cheesecake (if it isn't, don't tell me--I don't want to know).
My mom has been making this recipe since I was little. I'm sure there are a lot of great granola recipes out there, but this is the one I know and always use. You can vary it a bit based on what's in your pantry; for example, my mom often adds unsalted peanuts, and I don't always add the oat bran.
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 cups oats (quick-cooking or regular)
1 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (preferably unsalted)
1 cup coconut
1 cup dry milk
Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat oil, honey, and brown sugar slowly in medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Transfer to two or three greased cookie sheets (the higher the rims, the better--I often use the bottom half of a broiling pan as one of my sheets). Pour oil mixture over oats, dividing it between pans; spread evenly.
Bake for 15-30 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so (granola burns easily, so keep an eye on it). Let cool. Store in airtight containers.
(I like to eat my granola dry; my husband eats it with milk. Whatever makes you happy.)
And... if you like your granola in bar form, I recommend this recipe over at Yammie's Noshery. These things are delicious, and, like my crunchy granola, can be customized to fit your tastes and pantry stash. For example, I substituted crushed corn flakes for the Rice Krispies, left out the flax seeds, added a little wheat germ, and cut the chocolate chips (chopped) down to about 1/4 cup (because I didn't feel like opening a new bag). They turned out great--chewy and peanut butter-y and... um... honey-y? Just make them. You need something to snack on five minutes before bed, right?