October 26, 2008

Homemade Granola

Yesterday I was thinking about buying some granola at the really cute brunch place/ shop I had just eaten at, but I feel like granola from the store is often needlessly expensive, way too sugary, not really that healthy or all three. Later that day I was reading Kath's blog and her granola recipe inspired me to try making my own.

I started reading some other granola recipes online and the basic idea seemed pretty easy: mix rolled oats with a sweetener, a fat, and whatever toppings you want and bake until golden brown (don't bake the dried fruit though if you end up adding any). I checked my pantry to see what I had and decided to add unsweetened coconut, flax seeds, almonds, and dried apricots to mine. It turned out so well that I'm excited to try out new combinations (like something incorporating maple syrup) once I've finished this batch.

Homemade Granola
1 1/4 cups rolled oats such as Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
2 tbsp. flax seeds
1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/4 unsweetened coconut, toasted
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. lavender honey (regular would work fine too, I didn't even taste the lavender)
1 tsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place aluminum foil over a medium baking sheet and spray with cooking spray or spread a very thin layer of vegetable oil.

Mix the oats and flax seeds in a medium bowl (if your almonds are not already toasted, mine were, you can add them in at this step). Heat all brown sugar, vanilla, agave, vegetable oil and 2 tsp of the honey in a small saucepan. Once they have melted together and the sugar is dissolved pour the hot mixture over the oats and flax seeds and mix well. Spread the mixture evenly over the baking sheet and place in the over for about 10 minutes.

While the oat mixture is in the oven toast the coconut (I chose to do this because the coconut I have toasts extremely quickly so it would have burned from being in the oven as long as the granola). After 10 minutes remove the oat mixture and stir, increase the oven temperature to 325 and put the oats back until golden brown- about 5 more minutes.

While they are in the oven mix the apricots, toasted coconut, and toasted almonds in medium bowl, coat with remaining tsp. honey. When the oats have browned remove them from the oven and combine with apricot mixture. Do not mix too much if you want the granola to be more clumpy; push down into bowl and let sit to cool.

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