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Going Crazy With Granola

As I take us farther down the road to minimal processed food use, one of the last sticklers has been breakfast cereal. For Kirk, Walker and I that isn’t an issue (we eat some form of oats daily). But getting the teen (Ford) to accept it hasn’t been so easy. Which I totally get though, I hated eating homemade food when I was his age as well, my fantasy at that age was eating boxes of sugary, brightly colored junk. I had gotten him down to Honey Nut Cheerios, but I just get tired of the complaining when I serve him oatmeal as well. Maybe some moms can take it, but at 6 am I am too tired. So I was still buying him cereal. He had taken to granola in his yogurt after school so I decided to at least try making granola. I have long avoided making it. For a couple of reasons (all bad ones). First was the fallacy of the 80’s that fat was bad. Granola has fat most of the time. The fat isn’t bad necessarily, it comes down to what fats are used. Another reason was feared cost. Well…if one has a well stocked pantry the cost to make a quart or two is very low. Even with nuts, seeds and fruits added. Buy high quality in large amounts, save money. Buying a ½ cup small bag of nuts is often as expensive as buying a 1 lb bag! Think beyond one recipe when trying ingredients. That way you can justify creating!

Last but not least…I had a chip on my shoulder over making it. Brought back memories of my Mom’s friends in the late 70’s and early 80’s making Spirulina “shakes” and dry-as-dirt wheat bread. Or worse? Soy hot dogs on sprouted wheat buns at the local health food store/café when I was little. Now, those were nasty. How food could be that soggy was beyond me.

So I avoided making granola to keep from revisiting Hippy Hut™ memories. I am sure my Mom would have found yesterday and today hilarious, with me actually enjoying making granola. And in the end, I actually enjoyed the process. It was easy, very little work and I was able to hide the nuts and seeds in it so Ford wouldn’t crab about them (if I chop them small he doesn’t notice). The first batch was eaten by breakfast. Success. So after breakfast, Walker and I made another batch while Alistaire watched us. And well? Maybe I just will “forget” to get Cheerios at Costco. One more processed food gone!

Speaking of little helpers! He was out inspecting his blueberry plantation the other afternoon. The Rhubarb is almost ready as well.

Last Saturday, helping me feed Alistaire:

Back to the granola! First up is the 3rd batch we made, my favorite so far. And yes, raisins are a berry!

Double Berry & Grain Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups Barley Rolled Flakes
  • ½ cup Brown Sesame Seeds
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup neutral vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup honey (or agave nectar or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried Dried Cranberries

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°.

Mix the oats through sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk the honey, oil and vanilla together, pour over the oats and mix until combined.

Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Take out when golden and smelling done. Add in the raisins and cranberries, let cool fully. Store tightly sealed and use within 2 weeks. Granola will crisp up as it cools.

Makes about 2 quarts.

Almond & Raisin Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp neutral vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup agave nectar (or honey or maple syrup)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup raisins

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°.

Mix the oats through sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk the oil, agave, brown sugar and vanilla together, pour over the oats and mix until combined.

Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Add the almonds, bake for 15 minutes. Add in the raisins, let cool fully. Store tightly sealed and use within 2 weeks. Granola will crisp up as it cools.

Makes about 1 quart.

So no third recipe you ask? Well…to put it bluntly the 3rd version I did went into the yard waste bin. Low-fat granola just doesn’t cut it. It needs a little fat! Suffice to say…I burnt the low fat.

~Sarah

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