Saturday, January 25, 2014

Homemade Granola

I was just visiting my sister's family in Portland the past holiday weekend and had a chance to talk with my niece for a while. As she, like I am, is dismayed with the state of processed food these days, she's very much taken up the idea of making most of her food from scratch for herself, her husband, and her three amazing and quickly-growing three little boys. One of the foods she makes is granola and it got me thinking I should start making it for myself as well. I always have granola with Greek yogurt and fruit on the mornings I skate so it was really a no-brainer to finally get around to doing this.
In looking around for a recipe I quickly realized how many recipes there are out there. As I'll probably spend some time working on various approaches, I thought it best to start with a basic one, specifically this one that I got from Epicurious' web site. Apparently granola first started off during the cereal craze in the Midwest US back at the end of the nineteenth century but most of us are more familiar with the type that came from its resurrection during the early 70's at which time fruit and nuts were added to the mix.

Dry mix of oats, sugar, nuts, coconut, and seasonings

Heating the oil and honey

Prior to cooking...

.. and after cooking

Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
healthy pinch of kosher salt
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons grapeseed (or other vegetable) oil
1 cup assorted dried fruit - apricots, figs, dates, raisins, cranberries, et al

Directions:
Preheat an oven to 300°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
Mix the oats, pecans, coconut, brown sugar, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.
Stir the honey and oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth.
Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture then toss to completely coat it.
Spread the mix on the prepared parchment.
Bake the mix until golden, stirring every 10 minutes until the mix is well-cooked. This will take 35 to 40 minutes.
Place the sheet on a cooling rack, stir the granola then allow to cool.
Once the granola is cool, mix in the dried fruit.

Final mix