Saturday, April 30, 2011

Great Granola

Our granola breakfast looks like this upside down--
lots of fruit on the bottom with a little yogurt and
granola on the bottom.  But taking photos of my
creations and uploading them is too overwhelming
(Today's my 46th birthday, here's a birthday gift for you--my granola recipe!)

I make a truly great granola. 

I discovered granola while doing Weight Watchers 8 years ago.  When I ate a generous serving of fruit with a spoonful of nonfat plain yogurt and a sprinkling of granola, I wasn’t hungry until lunch.  So fruit, yogurt and granola has been Scott and my staple breakfast ever since. 

My sister has loved homemade granola far longer than me and tried a bunch of recipes.  But apparently, the one I invented is the best—she couldn’t believe I created it on first try.  It might be a tiny sensitive spot in our sibling rivalry issues.

I learned a key tip from Josh, who’s also renowned for his granola.  At a grad student summer fellowship meeting the opening question was “What was the best wisdom your parents ever passed on to you?” 

He answered, “Always put the honey in before the oil.”

As one who’d always done the opposite,  I ran up to him after the meeting and he told me that when the oats soak up the honey they just need a little slick of oil on top.  His father’s wisdom meant I cut the oil in my recipe by ¼.

As in so many things culinary within our family, a chef has no honor within her own home, so none of the kids will eat my granola.  They think granola is gross. 

The one exception was last summer in China.   I brought along a mid-size container of granola.  But when we landed and realized we weren’t going to spend $100 yuan per person on the lavish buffet breakfast at the hotel, we bought yogurt and fruit and everyone, even kids, ate it with granola.

I hadn’t planned on kids eating granola, so alas, it was gone in a week and we had to revert to raw oatmeal with yogurt and fruit, our own version of muesli.  That’s when there finally was a little appreciation!!

But returning home, they won’t eat it again.  When they complain there’s nothing to eat for breakfast and I suggest my fresh baked delicious granola, they just groan and roll their eyes. 

Someday when they are grown-ups and have to watch their weight, they will think back to how their mom baked fresh granola every three weeks and provided abundant fruit and yogurt and how they sneered at it and her.  When they come home they’ll beg me for a granola care package and it will take a lot of spiritual maturity and forgiveness to not hold their hard hearts, er palates, over them.  But I will give them granola because that’s what a mother, and a chef/cook, does.

Kathy’s Granola

Mix together until well coated:
1 42 oz. tub of rolled oats (not quick ones)
1 cup honey
1 cup wheat germ (optional—I don’t use it anymore)

Drizzle on top and mix in:
¾ cup oil (I use canola)

Add & mix in:
2 cups coconut flakes or more

Bake @ 350 in a large pans for about 20-30 minutes, mixing every 10 minutes, then every 5 until granola is light brown. 


8 oz. slivered almonds
1 cup. Pumpkin seeds or pistachios
1 cup sunflower seeds
(or any other combination of nuts you like.  I’ve also used cashews, pecans, sesame

Bake until granola is the color you like and nuts are lightly toasted.  I often turn off the oven and let it sit there.

When granola is cool, add:

1 pkg. chopped dates
Raisins, Craisins, dried fruit to your liking (I just put in some big handfuls)

Serve over whatever fresh fruit is in season with yogurt or milk.  Scott likes at least 3 each morning. 


Una said...

Thank you! I'm in search of a good granola recipe and this might just be the trick.

Melinda said... I the sister you are referencing in this post? Probably, since you don't compete with the other sister :)

For the record, I did not experiment with other granola recipes. I did, however, purchase multiple different brands of granola every time we moved to a new city and grew tired of wasting money and time and food(!) until I finally found one I liked...until we moved to another city across the country and I had to start the granola search again.

I absolutely LOVE your granola recipe and think it's the best granola anywhere. I haven't tried other recipes, but why mess with the best!

I like to add sesame seeds, slivered almonds, chopped pecans, pistachio nuts, and sunflower seeds to mine (in addition to the wheat germ). Two of my three kids eat it with yogurt and chopped dates for snack every day along with a fruit smoothie. Our pediatrician was very impressed when our kindergartner told her about her daily snack. Many thanks to you!

Josh Good said...

That sounds like a stunning recipe! For what it's worth, we've been testing out a 2:1 honey to oil ratio this year, in case you ever want to experiment with even less canola - but my word, this sounds so good I think I need to head downstairs for a fresh bowl now!

Rock on Kathy - thanks for including us in this inspiring post!