In the meantime, I'm (Emily) home sick for the second day running and bored, so, blog hog or not, here's a recipe for you folks.
Homemade granola is one of those things that might look complicated but is in fact super easy to make at home and, often, much cheaper than buying in the store. Well, not if you're like me and buy apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries, but then, if I bought granola in a store with apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries, that would be more expensive than me making it. The best part about making your own granola is that you can customize it completely. You get to pick what goes in it, how sweet to make it, how much oil it's gonna have, and whether it's gonna be crunchier or chewier. Bozzie and I made a double batch a couple weeks back. We started with the same base, and then he added stuff to his (a little) and I added stuff to mine (a lot).
No pictures of the process here, because it's super simple, but here's a recipe. I'm putting down the proportions I used, but, seriously, make it your own. Oats are important and you need a lot of them, but basically everything else can be altered. You can easily make it wheat-free, you can add different fruits and nuts, you can take out anything you don't like from my recipe and replace it with, well, almost anything. Basically, you just need crunchy stuff, sweetener of some kind, a bit of oil, and you're all set.
Homemade Granola a la Emily and Bozzie
- about 4 cups oats-- not instant!
- 1 cup wheat bran (or oat bran)
- 1 cup sliced almonds (or whatever nuts you like)
- 2/3 cup flax seeds
- 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- dash cinnamon
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or more--you can add less too, I think, but I think 1/3 cup helps it crisp up nicely)
- 1/3 cup water (or less, if you're going for really crispy)
- 1/2 cup honey (this is the sweetener-- you can sub maple syrup, agave, molasses, brown sugar, etc)
- drizzle molasses
- generous drizzle agave extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup currants
- 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped small
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Combine the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients over the top, mixing well. I find that it's easiest to do this with your hands. The granola should be sticky but not at all liquidy.
- Spread in as thin a layer as possible onto a lightly greased baking sheet
- Bake at 250°F for 20-40 minutes, stirring every 10. Add the dried fruit during the last ten minutes. The granola will crisp up more as it cools.
- Alternatively, you can bake it for 10-15 minutes at a higher temperature of 350-400°F. This should give you even crispier granola.
- Let the granola cool (snagging handfuls to munch as necessary), then transfer to airtight containers. Yogurt containers work very well for this. This makes a lot of granola, so you might need 2 yogurt containers. But don't worry. It keeps quite well.