Sunday, July 19, 2009

Make your own granola

The Coop offers a lot of granola choices, but it is easy to make your own custom granola. You are able to control the amount and type of oil and sugars, plus easily add favorite nuts, seeds , dried fruit and spices. Actually, a good reason to make your own granola this time of the year is to not add dried fruit when there are so many fresh fruits and berries available. You can increase variety by using one or more of the organic Eden flakes now sold in Aisle 7B instead of just using rolled oats. Eden offers barley, spelt, kamut, rye and rice flakes.

Basic Granola (low fat, low sugar)

5 cups of organic rolled oats or a combination of other flakes, including spelt, rye, etc.

1/4 cup of oil. (My current favorite is Rapunzel sesame oil, Aisle 3B)
1/4 maple syrup (or agave syrup, honey, barley malt, molasses, rice syrup--your choice)
1/2 cup boiling water.
optional: 1 tsp of a spice such as cinnamon, or a tsp of vanilla.

4 cups of nuts, seeds, coconut flakes.

Preheat oven to 325.
Put the oil and sweetener in a large mixing bowl, pour in the boiling water and mix. Add the oats/flakes and stir until all are coated. Spread the flakes on a large baking sheet with sides. It takes about 30 min to toast the flakes, but check and stir the flakes to make sure that the edges don't burn.

I reduce the oven heat to 300 to lightly toast the nuts separately from the flakes to prevent burnng. I like a crisp granola, but you can skip this step if you prefer your nuts raw or if you purchased roasted nuts. Spread each type of nut, seed, etc on its own baking pan. Watch the oven like a hawk while roasting nuts. Coconut toasts in a flash. If using seeds, sesame and pepitas are ok to roast, but do not roast flax or chia seeds. Chop the nuts as coarsely or finely as your prefer. For almonds, it is easy to buy the sliced ones, which crumble easily when toasted.

Mix nuts with flake mixture, add dried fruit if you want, and store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator once it has cooled.

Last week Melissa Clark had a granola recipe in the NYT's Magazine using olive oil and salt. It looks delicious but it has 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar and 3/4 c maple syrup per 3 cups oats. So you can see there are lots of variation in granola recipes. At the Coop, the nutritional content of the granola is on the bulk containers. But if you make it yourself, you know exactly how much sugar you are getting.

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