I recently spent some time in Michigan with my daughter, Andrea, who not only loves to cook but loves to cook healthy food. She shared a wonderful granola recipe with me which I’ve now made several times. What makes it  unique from other granola recipes I’ve made in the past is that it uses some milk and whole wheat flour, so the mixture gets clumpy…and when those clumps bake in the oven, they get crunchy. Yum! That’s just how I like it.

I’m not sure WHAT I’m going to do when I get false teeth because I absolutely LOVE crunchy foods…I like my bread very crusty, my pizza very crisp and my granola very crunchy. So if you prefer soft (mushy?) muesli, this recipe might not become your favorite. But we love it!

Making your own granola has lots of advantages:

  • Lots of options on which grains, seeds and fruits you add so you can customize the flavor
  • Control how much sweetener is added–sugar, brown sugar, or honey
  • No chemical additives
  • Much less expensive than store-bought granola

To be most efficient with my utilities, I usually bake it when I have the oven on for other things…and just bake it before or after. I also usually make a double batch since it stores well and there are two shelves in my oven.

To begin, I combine my dry ingredients in a large bowl…

…then I combine the three wet ingredients…

…and pour them over the dry ingredients.

Now I mix everything thoroughly, making sure that the flour, especially, is well incorporated. If the mixture is too dry, I add another tablespoon or two of milk. Then, I spread everything on a parchment-line baking sheet…

Wow! Look at that action shot! I must have been in a hurry spreading that mixture out!

Now I bake the mixture at 300° F (150° C) for 40-50 minutes, stirring it every ten minutes or so. If I don’t set a timer, I can easily forget it…and my oven has a hard time holding a set temperature so it often creeps up, resulting in some very well-browned granola.  I made a double batch twice while I was at my daughter’s house and neither of them came out quite this dark. I say all of that to clarify that you can bake it until it gets as brown and crunchy as you like–it doesn’t have to be this brown! Unless you like well-browned granola, like I do.

I like to leave the granola in the oven to cool, after turning the oven off. The original recipe didn’t suggest this…I’ve just done that in the past and find I like it dry and crunchy. You do need to be sure the mixture is cool and dry before storing in an airtight container or bag. Otherwise it won’t store as well.

Once the granola is cool, add as many raisins and dried fruit as you like. Chopped apricots are especially good!

So we’re all set for breakfast tomorrow…or I might even make a yogurt, strawberry, granola parfait right NOW!


Buon appetito! Ciao!

Debbie

Healthy, Homemade Granola

Yield: 5-6 cups

Healthy, Homemade Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 C. (750 ml) rolled oats
  • 1 C. (250 ml) whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 C. (60 ml) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 C. (60 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C. (60 ml) honey
  • 1/4 C. (60 ml) milk
  • 1 1/2 C. (375 ml) nuts
  • Dried fruit (raisins, apricots, etc.) --as desired

Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add up to 1 1/2 C. (375 ml) of nuts, coconut, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
  2. Combine the three wet ingredients and stir. Pour them into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly; making sure all the flour has been incorporated. Add another tablespoon or two of milk if the mixture is not clumpy.
  3. Spread the mixture onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. You don't want the mixture to be too thick or it won't get crunchy.
  4. Bake at 300° F (150° C) for 40-50 minutes, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes. You'll find that the outer edges brown more quickly than the center so use a spatula to rotate the mixture and break up larger clumps.
  5. If you prefer it very crunchy, allow to dry in the oven, once you turn it off. If the granola is not the last thing I'm baking for the day, I just keep it on the baking sheet until I turn off the oven and then put it back in with the oven off until the oven is cool. Once it's cool, add raisins and other dried fruit if you like.
  6. Store in an airtight container. The recipe says it keeps a week. I think it would keep well up to a month though we finish ours off faster than that!
  7. Enjoy with milk, yogurt or fresh fruit.
http://ciaofromdebbie.com/blog/step-by-step-cooking/healthy-homemade-granola-step-by-step/

 

 

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