Granola {Your Way}

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lately, I have been making granola to add some variety to breakfast.  I started out by searching online for different types of granola but then decided that it might be easier to work off a basic recipe and then just change it up here and there.  So here is a basic recipe for granola with some ideas on how to make different flavors.

I buy a lot of my supplies through Azure Standard...bulk items like oats, an eight-grain wheatless cereal, sliced almonds and agave syrup.  Some items I can find at our local grocery store or Sam's club.

 {The dry mix-oats, eight-grain cereal, and almonds}

Granola {Your Way}

6 cups grains {I use mainly oats and a cup or two of the eight-grain cereal}
1 cup nuts {sliced almonds, pecans, walnuts, flaked coconut}
1 to 1-1/2  cup sweetener {liquid sweeteners work better-honey, agave, maple syrup}
1/2 cup brown sugar {adds to the flavor and crispness}
1/2 cup oil {vegetable, coconut, butter}
1 tsp salt
1 cup seeds {optional...pumpkin, sunflower, etc.}
2 cups dried or freeze dried fruit {add after baking}
2 tsp spices 
1 tsp extract

Other add-in options: pureed pumpkin, peanut butter, Nutella, cocoa powder {about 1/2 cup to 1 cup for all these items except the cocoa powder.  For cocoa powder add about 1/4 cup or slightly more according to taste.}

Mix the grains, nuts, seeds, and spices in a large bowl.  In a saucepan, melt the sweetener, brown sugar, oil, salt, and extract together. NOTE: If you are using the "other add-in options" they should go into the saucepan with the other liquid ingredients.  Stir the liquid mixture into the dry one.  Make sure that everything gets coated well.  Divide the mixture between two cookie sheets.  Bake at 325 for about 30-40 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.  Once cool you can add dried fruit if you are using it.

My family loves a granola in which I put almonds, almond extract, and then these freeze dried strawberries that are available at Walmart of Sam's in my area.

Here are some other flavor combinations...

-Pumpkin, pecans, pumpkin pie spice
-Vanilla or almond extract, dried cherries, almonds
-Cocoa powder, dried strawberries
-Peanut butter, chocolate chips {added after baking and cooling}
-Coconut, cocoa powder, vanilla extract
-Almond extract, dried raspberries or strawberries {currently strawberries are way cheaper than raspberries}, almonds
-Mocha: ground coffee {put 2-3 T. in with the dry ingredients} and 1/4 cup cocoa powder
-Pecans, banana chips, cinnamon

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