Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yummy Crunchy Granola

This is something my dh just loves is granola , that and hot pork sandwiches lol . I first had granola as a child .My mother took us to a restaraunt in the big city one yr to buy a glass of goat milk something she missed from her childhood . This restaraunt was run by a wonderful woman and mother of 5 Caroline ackerman . My Mother then purchased Caroline's new book as well The No Fad Good Food $5 a Week Cookbook . Yes this is the book my mother made granola from ! I later in life would have Caroline dd Sunshine become one of my dearest friends and my mother and Caroline also would become close friends .How our world is small . I also later on when joining the food co-op Caroline started would become the prime granola maker and herb bagger . When I make granola you start with your basic dry ingredients and then really you may add any dried fruits and flavourings you like . If you do not like crunchy bits in your granola then do not add any whole wheat flour for it is this mixed with the honey and butter that make the crunch happen ;-) Also the biggest tip I can offer is do not add any fruit or nuts in until your last two stirrings or they will end up possibly burnt and rock hard .

I have to say I am not a follow a recipe person unless starting off new to a certain food .Alwas always follow directions then after yrs of making you will have your very own versions . I personally love orange and cranberry in my granola while my dh loves the tdeaitional almond and raisens added . Also dates and cashews make it real yummy as well .

preheat oven to 300 or 250 if you have an extra hot oven granola burns very easily so slow cooking and patience are the key

I basically start off with a huge bowl of old fashioned oats then add any dry ingredients you like . for my big bowl I use two cups of whole wheat flour . I then add unsweetened coconut , sesame seeds , any brans or wheat germ etc. you may add in any spices you like at this point .If you add dried apples cinnamon is nice . I like nutmeg for almond and aprciot .Mix them all very well together.

I then chop up any fruit or nuts I may be adding to the mix so items will be ready to add . I then on the stove melt my butter or margerine with honey or brown sugar . At the co-op they used canola oil but I truely do not like the oil version myself . I once again use about 1 cup butter for my big bowl of oats . once melted stir in any flavouring of vanillia or almond extract .I have even added 1/4 cup orange juice to the mix along with grated orange rind .

Add your melted mixture to your dry mixture . Stir very well . if you have added whole wheat flour you will notice nice clumps form . I keep these in clumps and as they bake they harden to form yummy crunchy clusters .

Once mixed , place on cookies sheets not to thck or it will take forever to cook . spread evely . Place in oven . Now the cooking & turning are the secret . So place in oven .The first cook you can usually get away with a 7-10 minute cooking time . remove and stir . place in oven again . Cook again 5 min. remove and turn .If it is looking golden then add your fruit and nuts . Place in oven again and cook 5min .remove & turn place in oven another 5 min . remove and place in large bowl or big roater or pail . Do this with all your granola until all is done . Absolutely do not bag this or place in containers until it has fully cooled or moister will form and it will go bad . Seve on top of yogurts or eat as a snack or with milk . Enjoy !

Yes I make my own vanilla .Vodka has proven the best alcohol to use thus far . I purchase the most soft fresh vanilla beans from my dear friend Sarah's Lantino grocery store

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