Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Oats are one of my favorite things. They have such a nice nutty-ness to them which I love. Even though I love oats, I dislike oatmeal. That kind of "mushy" texture doesn't do well with me. I remember when I was growing up, I only made myself oatmeal from the instant package that you just add boiling water to and bam, you have oatmeal. Well, I always added as little water as possible to keep the "crunchiness" that the oats have. Am I weird for doing that? Anyway, even when I do this, oatmeal isn't something I crave to eat in the morning. So, what other food involves oats and is something I can eat for breakfast instead of oatmeal? Granola of course!
Surprise surprise, this recipe for Granola comes from Ina Garten. But the great thing about Granola is that you can flavor it anyway you want it to be. Really, there is no recipe. Before I made this Granola, I read the reviews and the reviews were almost consistent in complaints about the amount of oil and honey and the baking temperature. I took all of these into account and changed the recipe as suggested by the reviewers. I will place the different measurements I used in the recipe. Like I said before, you can flavor Granola any way you want. Making this granola was kind of a "spur of the moment" thing this morning. Thus, the only dried fruits I had were raisins and cranberries so I used those but you can use anything you want. Then, because of my love of chocolate, I decided to put some milk chocolate chips in as well. Overall, the granola is great with or without the dried fruits and chocolate. It's crunchy, nutty and slightly sweet from the honey. YUM!! Put this on yogurt, use it as a cereal or use it as a snack. It's perfect for them all. Here's my tips and the recipe!!
-Stir every 10 min to ensure even browning (The edges tend to brown quickly)
-After 20 mins, make sure you keep checking back because it will burn in no time
-Once a pale golden brown, take the Granola out immediately. The Granola will be slightly soft which is what it's supposed to be like
-When cooling, the Granola will harden. If you want large clumps, leave the pan alone for at least 15 mins. The Granola will begin to harden almost in one slab which enables more clumps to form when you mix.
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup vegetable oil)
1/2 cup good honey (I used 3/4 cup honey)
1 1/2 cups small diced dried apricots
1 cup small diced dried figs
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (I baked at 300 degrees F instead)
Toss the oats, coconut, and almonds together in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil and honey in a small bowl. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add the apricots, figs, cherries, cranberries, and cashews. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.
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