Browsing Tag

granola

Toasted Coconut Granola

February 6, 2012

Can I interest anyone in a little homemade granola? What about if I tell you it’s packed with good things like toasted coconut, slivered almonds, walnuts and raisins and coated with sweet and earthy real molasses?

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with one cookbook in particular. That is, Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday. It’s a beautiful book, packed with inspiring, mouthwatering recipes that pull me in and don’t let me go. Sure, plenty of the recipes call for ingredients that I don’t typically store in my pantry, and that I’m not willing to shell out the cash to buy. But I’ve found that they’re solid recipes that can easily be adapted based on what you have on hand.

This granola had been calling out to me since I picked up the book. Although I tweaked it slightly (adding cinnamon, using raisins instead of currants, using sweetened flaked coconut instead of unsweetened since I couldn’t find unsweetened, and adding in a handful of slivered almonds) the integrity of the recipe remains the same. And I loved that instead of using sugar to sweeten the mixture, molasses was used instead.

My personal favorite way to eat this granola has been atop plain, unsweetened, full-fat yogurt, with a few berries stirred in for good measure. It’s to die for.

Toasted Coconut Granola
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday
Ingredients
*4 cups rolled oats
*1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
*1/2 cup slivered almonds
*1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut
*1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1/2 cup molasses
*1/3 cup butter, melted
*2/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 300°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside
*In a large bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, almonds, coconut, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the butter and molasses and stir until evenly combined. Pour mixture atop oat mixture and toss to combine and coat evenly. Divide mixture between the two prepared baking sheets and spread into a thin layer on each sheet.
*Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking. Remove from oven and cool. Stir in the raisins or dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container.

Happy Baking!
Madison

Peanut Butter Granola

April 1, 2011

Happy (almost) weekend, everyone! I don’t know about you, but I sure am ready for a few days to relax with Joey and Nut. Joey has business in Des Moines on Monday morning so he will be staying with me a little longer than usual, and it means we get to have a Sunday night together. I’m ridiculously excited. 

I thought it was also high time for me to share what I’ve been eating for breakfast the last couple weeks. Last week, after seeing Jenna’s post about granola, I was compelled to make some of my own. Of course, I decided to forgo using a recipe and just stick with equal parts butter, oil and honey. I realize that Granola is typically made with regular rolled oats, but I made this granola with a combination of regular rolled oats and the quick-cooking variety. It would be great if I could say it was for creativity’s sake, but truthfully, I ran out of rolled oats.

The good news? Quick-cooking oats made a fabulous substitute. Although I wouldn’t recommend using 100% quick-cooking oats, the mix worked out well. And you know me, if you put peanut butter on something I’ll follow you around and love you forever. I’ve been enjoying my granola served with an ice-cold glass of 2% milk and chopped walnuts.

P.S. – How cute are these two?

Peanut Butter Granola

Ingredients
*1 2/3 cup rolled oats
*1 2/3 cup instant oats
*1/3 cup peanut butter
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*1/3 cup honey
*Serve with milk (I vote for 2%) and chopped walnuts

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 275°F. In a large bowl, combine the oats. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vegetable oil and honey. Stir until well combined.
*Pour peanut butter mixture over oats and stir until oats are evenly coated. Spread evenly onto baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until lightly golden and toasted, stirring once halfway through baking. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Happy Cooking!

Madison

Homemade Granola: Base Recipe

April 30, 2010


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
Ingredients:
*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)


Instructions:
*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.


Happy cooking!
Madison

Whole Wheat Granola Breakfast Cookies

April 13, 2010


This year I’ve developed a new appreciation for springtime. Maybe it is because our winter in Iowa was particularly brutal, or maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m not preparing for finals and dealing with the stress of graduation, like so many people I know.

One of those unfortunate people? J. – who has about 5 weeks to go until the big graduation day. So instead of sending him a box of fat and calorie laden study treats, I decided to whip up some ‘brain-food’ to help fuel the final stretch of studying. What resulted was a whole wheat cookie chock full of granola – healthy enough to justify eating for breakfast or a snack every now and again, yet delicious enough to be consumed by a college guy and his five roommates. Crunchy, substantial, and slightly chewy in the center, I think I may keep these cookies for myself next time instead of boxing them up and shipping them off to Minnesota.


Whole Wheat Granola Breakfast Cookies
Ingredients:
*1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
*1/3 cup sugar
*1/3 cup brown sugar
*1 large egg
*1/2 tsp. baking soda
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. vanilla
*1 cup whole wheat flour
*1 3/4 cups granola (any kind)

Instructions:
*Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease two baking sheets and set aside.
*Beat butter until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add in the sugar and brown sugar and beat 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and beat until well combined, followed by the baking soda, salt, and vanilla, scraping down the sides as needed.
*Beat in the flour until combined, followed by the granola.
*Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons and form into balls. Flatten each ball slightly with your hand and place on baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Cool on wire racks.

Happy Baking!

Madison

Homemade Cranberry-Almond Granola

January 14, 2010

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for specialty grocery stores and the health-food sections of regular grocery stores. Countless hours of my life have been spent wandering through isles, transfixed by pretty packaging and obscure, high-quality ingredients. There are many instances when I believe it’s worth the splurge. Cheese, seafood, olive oil, certain cuts of meat? Totally worth the splurge.


But no matter where I buy my groceries, the absurdly high price of granola (even the cheapest option) never ceases to amaze me. I mean, you’re basically paying for oats, mixed with some sort of sweetener, typically honey, with a few nuts and dried fruits tossed in. Companies give this granola all types of labels: “Protein Packed” “Antioxidant Rich” “A Full Serving of Fruit!” Truth be told, if you know one basic granola recipe, you can customize it to fit your needs.

Start with the recipe listed here, but don’t get caught up in the fruit and nuts I added. If you want a few more antioxidants, add some dried blueberries to the mix, for additional protein just bump up the nuts. Need a few more omega-3s in your diet? Try walnuts! (I think you get the picture) Basically, just have fun with it! And enjoy spending a whole lot less.



Homemade Cranberry-Almond Granola
Adapted from Chow.com

Ingredients:
*3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
*2 Tbsp. brown sugar
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1/3 cup honey
*1/4 cup canola oil
*1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract
*3/4 cup dried cranberries
*1/2 cup golden raisins
*1/2 cup chopped almonds

Instructions:
*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 45 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes. 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 cranberries, raisins, and almonds. Store in an airtight container or zip top bag.

Happy cooking!
Madison

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