Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yummy, Inexpensive Nut-Free Granola Recipe



Yum - I enjoyed this tasty homemade granola with soy yogurt and strawberries!

Have you ever made homemade granola? I hadn't before today. For some reason, I had this idea in my mind that it was time consuming or really tricky somehow, maybe involving boiling sugar syrup or cooking lots of grains independently and then combining them. Or something. But buying granola is kind of expensive, plus there's all that packaging.

Great news! Making granola is super easy.

Here's a recipe (below the next photo) that I adapted from D.I.Y. Delicious, a cool cookbook by Vanessa Barrington from Chronicle that shows you how to make all kinds of staples, like ketchup, sauerkraut, pasta and granola from scratch!

I modified a few things - for instance, I really don't like nuts in granola, AND they were kind of pricey for what I had hoped would be a cheaper alternative to store bought granola, so instead I used sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.

I've also noticed that homemade granola is often bland, kind of like chewing on straight up toasted oat flakes, so I added the secret ingredient of....SALT. No kidding, it makes it way better.
I also halved the recipe since it's just me and my husband eating it, and it's humid here so I didn't want to risk it going stale. This recipe makes about a quart, or two empty salsa jars full :)


This recipe makes enough granola to fit into two 16oz jars.

Inexpensive Nut-Free Granola

Ingredients:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter
2 cups of "old fashioned" oats (NOT steel cut or Irish oats)
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup dessicated (not sweetened) flaked coconut
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4-1/2 tsp salt


Make it:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a fairly big saucepan (big enough to add all the oats and other things to) melt the butter and honey together, stirring - I accidentally browned the butter, but that might have actually made it even better!

When the butter and honey are mixed, add in the oats, stir to coat, then add in the sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, coconut and cranberries, stirring it all well.

TIP: I got my add-ins in really small quantities at the bulk bins at my local natural food store, that way I didn't have to buy a huge bag of sunflower seeds and make my "cheap" granola expensive.

If the mixture is too clumpy or wet looking, add in some more oats - I wanted it so it would *just* stick together, but didn't want huge chunks after I baked it, but if you like chunky chunks (ugh I hate that word) of granola, leave it stickier.

SECRET INGREDIENT CRUCIAL STEP:

Sprinkle in 1/4 tsp of salt, while stirring. Taste it - is it delicious yet? if not, keep adding a little more salt until it's sort of like honey-roasted peanuts. MMMMM - don't leave out the salt! It's crucial for deliciousness!

Spread out the granola evenly on a baking sheet with a rim (no need to grease it), and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Then carefully stir up the granola and then bake another 10 minutes. Allow the granola to cool to room temperature in the tray.

Voila! Granola! I stored mine as per the book's suggestion in mason jars (washed out salsa jars). Using a wide-mouth funnel will help you pack the jars more easily.

yum yum, cheaper and tastier than store-bought, and you can put whatever you want in it!





4 comments:

  1. That's pretty much how I make mine. I haven't done it in awhile - I should really make a batch this fall. And dig up a jar I haven't used for paint water :D I usually keep it in a rubbermaid container, but jars seem like a better idea.

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  2. We just happen to have a TON of green mountain gringo salsa jars in our pantry, also, tie a ribbon around a jar of granola and you have a classy gift for a friend who invites you over for dinner, or just moved into a new place.,

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  3. I made this for my granola-loving-nut-allergic husband for Christmas and he LOVED it! I will definitely be making this all the time. Thank you so much for sharing.

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