Remember that time not so long ago when I made Whole Wheat Granola Breakfast Cookies? Well, it turns out I am not only the type of girlfriend who likes to bake for her boyfriend, I am also the kind who likes to make her boyfriend’s mom think I’m trying to kill her son by means of serious allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock.
Because adventurous eater and fruit and veggie loving me fell in love with someone allergic to more items than even he can count, including, evidently, commercially produced granola and granola bars. And when his mom, who happens to read Espresso and Cream (Hi, Lisa!) noticed I was sending her son a box of cookies filled with granola she did what any caring mother would do and sent him a heads-up e-mail.
It just so happens that before making those fateful cookies, I had just finished whipping up a batch of homemade granola and decided to use it for the cookies. After talking with J. about what I put into my homemade granola, we determined that he could eat the cookies and avoid a life-threatening allergic reaction, or at least a trip to the hospital. So from here on out I’ve accepted that as long as J. is in my life, I am bound to a life of granola making instead of granola buying. Thank goodness it is both fun and easy!
This granola base recipe is very similar to a recipe for cranberry-almond granola I made this winter, with a few minor changes. It couldn’t be easier and it’s just so gratifying to see the oats toast up in the oven and transform into granola in under an hour. While we were in Florida last weekend, J. had a bit of a culinary revelation: my 10 year-old sister’s vitamin gummy bears. So while this may not radiate culinary brilliance or sophistication, it will be serving a healthful purpose when it arrives up in Minnesota. Customize it fit your taste or leave it plain for a simple, yummy breakfast base.
Homemade Granola: Base Recipe
Adapted from Chow.com
*3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
*2 Tbsp. brown sugar
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1/3 cup honey
*1/3 cup canola oil
*Desired stir-ins of your choice (I used gummy bear vitamins)
*Preheat oven to 300*F.
*In large bowl combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, combine honey, oil, and extract and stir until well combined. Pour mixture over oat mixture. Stir until well-combine. Use hands, if necessary.
*Pour mixture into a large baking sheet or pan. Spread into a thin, even layer. Bake 40 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring once halfway through. Remove from oven and cool completely. Stir the mixture once or twice while it cools (it will harden as it cools). Once cooled, add in desired mix-ins. Store in an airtight container or zip top bag.