Quasi-Veg

Asymptotically vegan kitchen adventures

Friday Night-in Granola

almond milk yogurt + granola + blackberries!

almond milk yogurt + granola + blackberries!

Making your own granola makes sense because: 1. it is so much cheaper, 2. you can make it exactly how you like it.  I’ve always wanted to try making it, but buying it was just so much easier.  Or so I always told myself.  My tipping point came the other day at Target when I was trying to find a Kate-friendly granola–and spent about 10 minutes reading every package in the place only to come up empty. Everything had some sort of quizzical ingredient in it, like barley malt (gluten) or vegetable oil (soy), or soy flour (really??).  The one almost-promising package I found had “natural flavors” listed in the ingredients.  And let’s not even get started on “natural flavors”.  (It’s a legally-protected excuse for food companies to put various unnamed ingredients into a food product–a big red flag to allergen-free eaters, vegans, etc.)  You know that scene in “Father of the Bride” where Steve Martin flips out and starts ripping hot dog buns out of bags in order to make a numerically matching set with the number of hot dogs he must buy?  Yeah.  I was almost that customer–punting exploding bags of granola down the aisle while hollering on about the wealthy soy lobby.

So, in order to prevent myself from a being arrested for a dazzling display of granola fireworks, something needed to be done. And that something was make my own granola!  And let me tell you–it is easy.  Real damn easy.  I can’t believe I haven’t done this before. Plus, why spend $5 on a teensy package of granola when I can get a huge tube of Quaker Oats (enough for making like 8 or 9 ‘teensy package’ amounts) for $2.50? I don’t have a good answer to that either, so I spent my Friday night in with some wine, experimenting in the kitchen.  I got so into it, I even came up with two different flavors in one night.  I’m hooked.

Before we get to them, a couple notes on the recipes… I found that I probably could have used even more lemon juice in the Lemon-Ginger Apricot recipe–more like 1.5 or even 2 lemons.  The lemon tasted sufficiently strong in the uncooked mixture, but really mellowed out and became quite subtle in the oven.  So if you are going for more of a lemon kick (like I was trying to), don’t be shy with the lemon juice–maybe even toss in some zest!

Also note that you could trade the coconut oil for the Earth Balance (and vice versa) in either recipe.  The coconut oil gives a lovely, incredibly rich flavor to the granola–think more buttery than coconut-y–while the Earth Balance backs off and lets the other flavors do the talking.  Either is a great choice depending on what flavor profile you are going for–or, nutritional profile, since coconut oil is a great source of those fitness-friendly MCTs!  (If you want to be really picky about keeping as many MCT molecules intact as possible during their trip through the oven, try cooking the granola at a slightly lower temperature, like 300F, for a longer amount of time.)

Ok, enough talking, time for cooking!  :)

(Both recipes adapted from Oh She Glows.)

Apple Currant Granola

Dry:

  • 3.5 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup amaranth
  • 1.5 tablesp. chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup currants
  • 1 teasp. salt
  • 1.5 teasp. cinnamon

Wet:

  • 4 tablesp. applesauce
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablesp. coconut oil

Lemon-Ginger Apricot Granola

Dry:

  • 3.5 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup amaranth
  • 1.5 tablesp. chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
  • 1/8 cup stevia
  • 1.5 teasp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 teasp. ginger (optional)
  • pinches of salt to taste

Wet:

  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • maple syrup to taste
  • 4 tablesp. (soy-free) Earth Balance
  • juice of 1 large lemon, plus more to taste

Directions (identical for both recipes):

0. Preheat oven to 325 F.

1. Mix dry ingredients together in a big mixing bowl, mix wet ingredients together in a different, smaller bowl.  If you like, you can warm the wet ingredients a bit to help them mix.

2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly.  Check salt, spices, and/or lemon juice, adjust as necessary.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly on top.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time to ensure desired crumbly-ness/texture.

5. Let cool 10-15 minutes (this is when it gets crunchy!) before eating or storing.  Will keep for 1-2 months in airtight container, and even longer in the freezer.

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6 comments on “Friday Night-in Granola

  1. February 22, 2012

    net cost per unit mass?

    • Kate
      March 13, 2012

      Good question. I’ll write down prices and calculate next time I’m at the co-op! Hopefully this weekend sometime…

  2. Pat and Leigh
    February 22, 2012

    Those pictures looks so inviting, Kate! We can’t wait to try making this stuff ourselves. Will leave another comment after we try making it this weekend…this is going to be fun!! :)

    • Kate
      March 13, 2012

      Thanks for the kudos on the pictures! Finally putting my camera to routine use. :) Can’t wait to hear what you guys think of the recipes!

  3. Lisa
    March 11, 2012

    Ok, you can remove the note about how long this will store, because I’ve just completed batch number five and can attest this stuff doesn’t last more than a week before it’s all eaten. B and I are both addicted.

    In the recipes discussed below, the oat, amaranth, chia, nut, salt, and coconut oil amounts are all the same as yours.

    I’ve made only slight variations to your Apple Currant recipe twice (one time subbing in raisins, both times using a walnut/pecan mix and tripling the cinnamon), and both times it’s been a winner.

    I’ve made a pumpkin spice version with currants using all spice and cloves in addition to cinnamon. Like your lemon experience, I think I’d double the pumpkin amount from the 1/4 c. I used to a 1/2 c. next time (though it seems to have become more pumpkiny as it aged). I used the apple butter and maple syrup amts from the Apple recipe.

    I made a peanut butter version that I mixed with chocolate chips after it cooled. I used a 1/2 cup chunky Adams natural peanut butter and used 1/8 c. raw clover honey to sweeten instead of the apple butter. I still used just a splash of the maple syrup too. It’s super tasty but really feels like desert not a healthy snack. We didn’t try it, but I bet it would be amazing with vanilla ice cream.

    The last variation that’s about to come out of the oven now is Orange CranRaisin. I squeezed a large mandarin orange and added a splash of OJ to 2 tbsp mixed fruit jelly and 1/4 c. maple syrup, and in the dry mix used 1/3 c. golden raisins and 1/3 c. dried cranberries. Oh, and 1/4 c. coconut. I taste-tested at the mid-point stir and it’s definitely got a summertime island flavor to it. I sort of want to add banana chips once it cools, but don’t really want to amp up the fat content even more.

    Thanks so much for this recipe – I’m planning to teach it to all my baking buddies.

    • Kate
      March 13, 2012

      Awesome. I’m really glad to know I’m not the only one going totally nuts over this stuff! Also good to know that I’m not the only one who could use a stronger spice kick; when writing up recipes for others I tend to back off the spice a little bit, since I fear I like a lot more spice than the average person. But maybe I should just rock my own spice style and not worry about it. ;)

      I love the cranberry-orange flavor idea! I’m definitely going to have to try that one. Good to hear that the pumpkin experiment was a success, too. I’ll have to sneak in a batch or two of a pumpkin one before it gets all summer-y here. Thanks so much for the feedback!, it’s super useful.

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2012 by .

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