Granola as a new obsession

Granola

Granola gets a bad rap … because the stuff you buy at the store is full of oil and sweeteners and preservatives and sugar-crusted dried fruit. Even the organic/all natural kinds tend to have a lot of oil and sugar.

But when you make your own, the granola can have as much healthy and unhealthy stuff as you please. And either way, it will be delicious, cheap (especially if you buy from bulk bins), and will last you at least a week, if not two. I didn’t have the time to make granola at home this past Sunday night and craved it all day Monday.

The concoction I’m munching on right now (with plain organic yogurt) is “no fail granola” from Everybody Likes Sandwiches. The recipe provides a handful of suggestions of what to include with the standard rolled oats, flax seeds and wheat germ – I chose raw almonds, sunflower seeds and a mixture of unsweetened dried apples and cranberries. I also chose real maple syrup as my sweetener and substituted applesauce for the vegetable oil (adding less than a tablespoon of oil, since the mixture wasn’t quite wet enough).

The result is lightly sweet, satisfyingly crunchy and quite filling. For reference, I’ve pasted the recipe fromEverybody Likes Sandwiches below, but everyone should check out her various granola recipes, since they all look delicious.

“No Fail Granola”

4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seeds

Plus 3 cups of any of the following as you choose (I chose almonds, sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup each of cranberries and apples):

Walnuts
Almonds
Sunflower Seeds
Hazelnuts
Sesame Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Grated Coconut
Raisins
Dried Cranberries
Dried Cherries
Dried Apricots
Dried Apples

Mix all of the grains and nuts together and add spice (I used cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and mace, since I didn’t have cardamom):

1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

In a large measuring cup, mix together the following:

1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup sweetener (honey, brown sugar, molasses, or maple syrup – I used maple syrup)

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix well with a wooden spoon until everything is well coated.  Add a little bit of vegetable oil if necessary. Pour onto a cookie sheet or large rectangular pan coated with cooking spray and bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so until mostly dry. Remove and cool, then store in tight lidded container(s).

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