Snow day granola

Um, people forgot to tell me that it snows in Seattle. A lot. What’s that you say? It doesn’t usually snow almost a foot in one week during a normal Seattle winter? Well, it did this week, my friend!

snowy yard

As a result, I have been house-bound and hunkered down all week. The one exception to this was a quick run we made to the grocery store on Tuesday in between storms. We picked up some essentials, which for me included baking ingredients. Because that’s what I do when it snows and we can’t leave the house – I bake!

salted peanut butter cookies

Does baking compound the problem of being sedentary for the better part of a week? Yes, yes it does. Does it make the time more fun and delicious? A resounding yes!

whole wheat cinnamon snacking cake

So, I’ve been baking up a storm to rival the one outside, but the one thing that I’ve had the most fun with – and thus am the most excited to share with you – is the granola. Sorry, is that a tease after I showed you a picture of cookies? Make this granola and I promise you will not feel let down!

cocoa coconut cherry granola

I L-O-V-E granola. And ever since I discovered Molly Wizenberg’s recipe for granola (which she adapted from Nigella Lawson) I have loved making it for myself. I am aware, as Molly notes in her post about this granola, that baking my own granola threatens to put me firmly in the category of Crazy Hippie, but when you taste this wholesome yumminess you will be right on that train with me (and her)!

tons of granola ingredients

Before I started grad school, I made this granola often – like really often… Let’s just say that for a while I just didn’t run out, I always had it. Since I’ve been in school, however, my granola-making has been yet another sacrifice to the academic gods. Until this week, that is! My classes were cancelled all week because of the snow and I made three batches of granola. Three! It is awesome.

granola in process

The reason I never get sick of this granola, and the reason I can keep myself busy making multiple batches of it at a time, is because this recipe is really more like a template than a strict recipe. The important thing to remember is that you want to keep the ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients about the same as it is in the “mother” recipe. Outside of that, you can go crazy!

I’ve tried so many different types of nuts, seeds, fruits, syrups, oils, etc. using this formula and they have all come out incredibly tasty. The formula is important though, because it ensures that you end up with a granola that is just wet enough to produce those lovely clusters, but dry enough to actually be granola cereal, instead of a granola bar (or a solid granola sheet!)

granola ready for the oven

Even if you aren’t snow-bound, I hope you will give it a try. It barely counts as a baked indulgence, but it is such a treat and far superior to granola you buy at the store.

I’ve given you the “mother” recipe below, followed by a few of my favorite adaptations and combinations. Please let me know if you find a winning combination of your own – I’m always looking to mix it up!

maple coconut granola

Daily Granola

From Orangette
Makes 10 cups of granola

This is what I keep referring to as the “mother” recipe, which doesn’t do much to shed the hippie label, but this is how I think of it. The recipe as published on Orangette is a delicious basic granola and you will not be disappointed if you make it just as it is here. If you are looking for a little something extra or different in your granola, however, read on for my favorite adaptations.

Dry ingredients:
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 2 to 3 cups raw almonds or pecan halves, or a mixture
  • 1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower

Preheat oven to 300°F.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Stir to mix well. In a small bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Stir to mix well.

Then, pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones, and stir well.

Spread the mixture evenly on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until evenly golden brown.

Note: Every ten minutes while the granola bakes, you should rotate the pans and give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly.

When it’s ready, remove the pans from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and set aside to cool. The finished granola may still feel slightly soft when it comes out of the oven, but it will crisp as it cools.

Scoop cooled granola into to a large zip-lock plastic bag or other airtight container.

Spicy Ginger Granola

I like to think of this one as my super-healthy version, although the other versions are mostly just as healthy.

Dry ingredients:
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 1 cup raw almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger pieces
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey, if you don’t have agave)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Follow instructions for “mother” recipe above.

Cocoa Coconut Cherry Granola

This version is the “decadent” version in my head, but remember that cocoa nibs are a super food! They are a lot healthier for you than their descendants chocolate chips. So again, this version is basically just as healthy as the others…it just feels more indulgent. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Dry ingredients:
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup roasted cocoa nibs
  • 1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
After-baking ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
Follow instructions for “mother” recipe above. Once the granola has baked and come out of the oven, stir in the tart cherries (or any plump dried fruit you prefer).

Maple Coconut Granola

One of my favorite flavor combinations! Inspired by Shutterbean.

Dry ingredients:
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups raw almonds, chopped
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
Wet ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Follow instructions for “mother” recipe above.
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6 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Food

6 responses to “Snow day granola

  1. David

    I loooooove snowy baking time!

    and reap all rewards from this. : )

    these recent granola batches are some of her best.

  2. theveryhungrybookworm

    I understand sacrificing to the Grad school gods. I have been doing some of that myself! I like the look of your granola- especially the spicy ginger granola. Yum!

  3. Bekka

    i’m catching up on your past blogs i missed out on.
    i’m going to have to make some granola soon! the ginger, and maple coconut ones look delicious 🙂
    love, B.

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