Ah, granola. Not something I grew up eating–I was a Cheerios and Rice Krispies girl all the way. I was introduced to granola when one of the moms who drove me to swim practice packed it for me in a little baggie with peanut butter chips and raisins. Then in one of my college seminars–the ones that are small enough that you know everybody’s name and the professor assigns people weeks to bring snacks for the group–someone brought in vanilla yogurt, granola, and fresh raspberries. I thought this was brilliant.
So maybe I was a little slow getting on board the granola train. Alex loves it. And my mom was the one who inspired me to start making my own. It’s really simple to make, and you can mix and match ingredients based on what you like. So won’t you pull out your headbands and moccasins, iron your hair, and strap a guitar to your back–let’s make some granola!
Basic Granola Recipe (adapted from Simply in Season and my mama)
Yum Factor: Alex – 9, Jessalyn – 8
Makes about 3 or 3.5 cups
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
– 2 cups rolled oats
– 1 cup sliced almonds
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or other lightly flavored oil)
– 1/4 cup brown sugar (or up to 1/2 cup if you’ve got a real sweet-tooth in the house)
– 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2. Mix everything together. Spread the whole mixture out onto a lightly greased, rimmed baking sheet.
3. Bake for 10 minutes, then use a fork to gently mix everything around a bit. Then bake for no more than 10 more minutes.
4. Remove baking sheet from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then break it up with your fork again–otherwise it’s gonna stick.
Yup, it’s just that simple.
If you’re adding any other ingredients, add them after baking. Last week we added a handful of dried cranberries. This week we added some crushed banana chips and raisins. Store in an airtight container.
We still enjoy ours most frequently with yogurt, especially in those rushed mornings trying to get out the door and get to work (it also travels well). But certainly there are many other things you can do once you have a batch of granola at your disposal: cookies, bread, fruit parfaits. Check out this list of ideas that came up in my blog reader last week.
Crunch crunch crunch. What do you like in your granola? Missed out on the 60s? Have a laugh and find out your hippie name here if you’re a chick and here if you’re a dude. (Jessalyn got “Lilac” and Alex got “Cosmic”). What’s yours?