Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Granola!

In the interest of augmenting my hippie-mama street cred, I thought I'd share the granola recipe that I've been using lately. You can find the base recipe, Skillet Granola, over at The Common Kitchen, recipe annex for one of my favorite blogs, The Common Room

Reasons I like this recipe: 
- I prefer stirring on the stovetop for 10-15 minutes than checking and stirring a pan in the oven every 10 minutes for an hour or whatever. I don't even really know, I've never made oven granola. I just know I'd forget about the whole stirring thing, and come back later to find a batch of half-raw, half burned granola about 45 minutes later, when the smoke alarm goes off. 
- It's quick! If you don't mind warm-ish granola, you can eat this within half an hour of starting. 
- It's easy to change up. Which is the point of this post. We've eaten several yummy variations on this recipe lately, and here they are! 

First, the recipe base is just 1/3 cup of oil, 1/3 cup of sweetener (liquid is best, I tried brown sugar once and it didn't work so well), and 4 cups of oats. From there, you can add all kinds of spices and extracts, dried fruit, nuts, wheat germ, etc. Below are some of our favorite combinations.  

Gingerbread 
1/3 cup oil 
1/3 cup molasses 
1 teaspoon ginger 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
4 cups oats 
1/2 cup dried apples 
1/2 cup chopped pecans 

Banana Nut
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups oats
1/2 cup dried banana chips, crumbled into bits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

PiƱa Colada
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups oats
1/2 cup dried pineapples, snipped or chopped into bits
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Citrus Ginger with Strawberries and Bananas
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon ginger
4 cups oats
1/3 cup dried banana chips, crumbled into bits
1/3 cup dehydrated strawberries, snipped or chopped into bits
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

That last recipe was less "planned" and more "what can I use up", but it turned out just as good as the others.  I also made a chocolate cherry version, but it needs work.  The dried cherries I bought just taste like raisins, and none of us really like raisins much.  I know I've had better dried cherries, so I need to look around.  I also added the cocoa powder at the beginning, and by the time the oats were done (which was really hard to discern, since the cocoa turned everything so dark, you couldn't see when the oats were browned) it tasted slightly burned.  Next time, I'd add the cocoa at the end, mixed with a little extra oil to make kind of a slurry.  I'll post that one if I ever get it right.  I also want to try a cranberry orange version.  What else sounds good to you? 

modelling the baby hat I made
I can't wait 'til I get to eat granola!

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