Friday, May 7, 2010

Homemade Granola

I absolutely LOVE granola!  Homemade is super easy and you can make a lot and keep it in a storage container!  You think of granola as being healthy, but if you look at the ingredients in some of the store brands...oh my!  I found this recipe years ago and have stuck with it because it works!  You can eat it by itself, as a cereal with milk, or with your favorite yogurt!  If you have never attempted to make granola do NOT be scared.  It is really easy and Super Delicious!!

First you add the brown sugar and water to a microwave safe bowl.  Nuke it for 5 minutes.  Stir the mixture so that the brown sugar is dissolved in the water.  Add vanilla extract and salt.


Measure 8 cups of old-fashioned oats and 2 cups of chopped pecans into a large bowl.  I don't like to chop them to small.  I like to have a crunch to the granola.  If you don't like pecans, you can use whatever nut you like.  These just happen to be my favorite.

Pour the mixture onto two sheet pans lined with parchment paper.  Put sheets into a 275 degree oven for 60 minutes, or until golden brown.

When you take the sheet pans out of the oven.  Sprinkle with dried fruit of your choice (I used raisins and cranberries since that is what I had in the pantry).  Let it set.  Put into an airtight container when cooled.

This recipe is AWESOME.  The whole family loves it.  I'm hoping yours will too.  Here is the recipe:

Crunchy Granola
(Cooking Thin With Chef Kathleen)

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (use 1 1/2 cups to make it clumpier)
1/2 cup water
4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
8 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
Dried fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 275.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Combine brown sugar and water in a 4-cup microwave-proof glass measuring cup or bowl.  No smaller-it could boil over.  Place in microwave on high for 5 minutes and cook until sugar is completely dissolves.  Remove from microwave; add vanilla and salt.  Stir to combine until salt dissolves.  Place oats and nuts in a bowl and pour brown sugar mixture onto cookie sheets and bake 45-60 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.  When mixture comes out of oven it is still very pliable.  You may choose to add dried fruit as a finishing touch at this time.  When granola has cooled completely, store in an airtight container.

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