Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sweet-Salty Granola

This recipe is adapted from Uncle Austin's Granola.  This is a somewhat lower fat version (cutting down a bit on the nuts and coconut), and I've also basically halved the recipe so that you end up with enough to feed a medium sized family for a week or so, but not the Military Mess Hall proportions of the original recipe.  :)

This granola is toasty, nutty, sweet, and a bit salty -- just perfect for eating sprinkled over a big spoonful of plain yogurt, dry by the handful, or generously doused in milk.  It's not a low fat food, but pretty much all of the fats in here are the good kind that are good for you heart.  So eat in moderation and enjoy!!


Feel free to riff on this recipe as you feel fit -- substitute or add extra seeds and nuts, swap out maple syrup (grade B dark amber is the most flavorful for cooking, but even a floral light amber is delicious), honey, barley malt agave nectar or brown sugar for the molasses, and feel free to add whatever sort of dried fruit or chopped chocolate once it's cooled.  The nonfat dry milk, combined with the vanilla extract give a welcome creamy note, but if you don't have dry milk on hand, no worries -- you can do without.  In short: make it your own!  I certainly have.  :)

Salty-Sweet Granola
(Adapted from Homesick Texan)

5 cups rolled oats
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup golden flax seeds (or regular, but I prefer the mildness of the golden ones)
2 cups nuts (I usually use almonds or pecans)
2 cups shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)
½ cup nonfat dry milk
1-½ tsp salt
1-½ tsp vanilla
½ cup vegetable, peanut, or mild olive oil (I've even used extra virgin olive oil in a pinch and it was fine)
½ cup molasses
1 cup dried fruit, chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (optional -- to be added after granola is baked and cooled)

Preheat oven to 300°.

Combine all of the dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl (I split the recipe in two, adding coconut and pecans to one half, and almonds to the other, to suit our household's varying tastes.)  I like to toss it with my hands to make sure it's truly mixed.  Put vanilla, oil and molasses to a small bowl and mix vigorously with a fork to fully combine.  Pour over dry ingredients and mix well (once again I use my hands for this to make sure it's really combined and everything has been fully coated with the sweet mixture).

Spread in two jelly-roll pans or cookie pans with sides.  Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and then bake for 5 more minutes or until lightly golden.

Remove pans to cooling racks, and stir occasionally to assist in the cooling process and keep it from clumping too much.  When the granola is perfectly cool, add the dried fruit and/or chocolate, and transfer to a lidded glass or plastic bowl.


With almonds -- Greg's favorite


With pecans and coconut -- the way I like it

Store in a cool dry place for up to 10 days, and enjoy!

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