Saturday, February 9, 2008

My Favorite Granola Recipe

I love granola! I don't particularly enjoy the hard, dry variety - but give me some chewy, soft granola and I'll happily consume a couple of bowls.

The first time I remember ever tasting some granola, was when I was a child, having breakfast with my grandparents out at the lake. Seems like it was a joke - my grandpa offered to trade cereals with me or asked if I wanted some of his cereal. I was told it was an "adult" cereal. I think it was called "Harvest Crunch". "You only need a little b/c it fills you up," I was told. I had some - and sure enough, enjoyed it.

Quite a few years ago I had my first taste of homemade granola, made by my MIL. I loved it so much - she gave me the recipe. I don't make homemade granola too often b/c the planets need to be lined up just right so that I happen to have all the necessary ingredients on hand at the same time. I love that this recipe is made in the microwave so the amount of time from start to finish is pretty quick. You can roll out of bed and make some for your breakfast this morning.

Almond Crunch Granola

1 c sliced almonds
2 1/2 c rolled oats
1 c flaked coconut
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 c honey
1/4 c oil

Combine in a glass baking dish - microwave on HIGH for 8 min - stirring after EVERY 2 min.

After cooking add:

sunflower seeds, pecans or raisins - as desired. You can also add some wheat bran or 1/3 c Grape Nuts cereal after cooking. I don't add Grape Nuts b/c I have rather weak teeth and prefer to retain them for the remainder of my life.

After it is cool, fluff gain with a fork. Store in a tight container.

Now you may want to follow this recipe pretty closely the first time - but after that, just play around with it to see if there is too much honey or not enough coconut or almonds or whatever. I usually double the recipe, increase the cinnamon and decrease the amount of oil and honey. I also skip the sunflower seeds.

Try substituting other dried fruits such as cranberries or apples, for the raisins.

My dd likes the cereal but she hates raisins - so she'll usually pick them out. Ds loves the cereal just the way it is.

For some strange reason (well maybe it's not so strange, but rather due to my recipe organization) this favorite recipe, along with my favorite recipe for Cran-apple Pie and my most favorite recipe for my Cranberry Muffins - have all disappeared recently! Thankfully the granola recipe turned up during a "cleaning bee".

The cranberry muffin recipe - I have had since about the first year we were married...we all love them and I traditionally make them in the fall and winter. Same with the cran-apple recipe.

I don't use recipe books very much. I have a few that I go to once in awhile - but most of my recipes are gleaned from the 'net or from magazines. I print or tear out the recipe and then put it in a 3 ring binder. Sometimes they don't get put back into the binder for "some time" and I imagine that is why I can't find them now.

I'm sure I could find another similiar cran-apple recipe...and actually I did find one for a delicious French Cran-Apple pie. It's not totally the same as the old one - actually I might like it better - so that is a bonus. But I'm sentimentally attached to my little baking-spattered muffin card. I do remember the main ingredients - though not the amounts...and it just wouldn't be the same muffin without knowing that I used the old recipe.