Saturday, June 30, 2012

"What is a granola?"

The Internet has failed me in my search for the movie in which someone yells in frustration "What is a granola?" but I hear it in my head pretty much every time I think about granola.
Granola is a delicious collective entity. There is no such thing as a granola. It was interesting for me to assemble this collective because I had to acknowledge its individual parts. 

Unbaked granola mixed together by hand (fun!)

Here are the parts of my granola:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped almonds (easy with a sharp knife, rock the knife or keep the tip pressed down while you change the angle of the bottom of the knife with each chop)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (suuuper easy to chop)
  • Some flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (only works if ambient temperature is 76 degrees or warmer, or if you warm up the oil first)
  • Dash of molasses
  • Dash of vanilla
  • Dash of salt (1/2-3/4 teaspoon or so)

What's interesting is that these simple ingredients are often not what make up the granolas you buy in a box at the grocery store. Making your own processed food really makes you conscious of what utter crap is in most commercially processed food. If you want "purer" granola from a store, look for it in bulk at a health food store, but if you're trying to avoid GMOs, only go for "100% Organic", since most commercial cereals use canola oil. Ok, onto the instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, seeds, and brown sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, molasses and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
  4. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl, then store in a glass jar for up to 4 months or freeze for 6 months.
Granola spread out on the baking sheet (batch #1)

This recipe is actually adapted from an Alton Brown recipe. You can do whatever the heck you like. Just note that if you add fruit, don't bake it; just mix it in before storage.

Is it good? Yes, it is. Try it! DON'T burn it! It'll totally suck.

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