Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yogurt and Granola: Part II

The Granola

Four or five years ago, one of my colleagues brought me a little bag of granola that she'd made. I thanked her with the proper amount of enthusiasm and returned with the bag to my office, where I decided to test it out. Seemingly within moments, I'd finished the entire bag. Throwing politeness and propriety to the wind, I went back to her office and asked if she had any more. Very kindly, she obliged me. Shortly thereafter, she gave me the recipe, and I have been making it myself ever since.

Two notes about this: The amount of oil in granola is always a concern, and I've been experimenting with lowering the amount while still maintaining the great taste. For this most recent batch, I made 1 1/2 times the recipe but kept the oil the same as for a single batch. (So, 2/3 of a cup of oil rather than a full cup.) I think I can go a bit lower than that. Next time I'm going to try 1/2 cup rather than 2/3 and see if that will work. I was slightly light with the coconut as well, but I kept the amount of honey the same. Obviously, there needs to be enough oil to coat everything nicely, but I think there's definitely some room to play with this. I also contemplated substituting maple syrup for part or all of the honey (especially since I was digging the solidified honey out of the container with a spatula handle), but I didn't. Next time.

Suzanne's Famous Cashew Granola
from the Cafe Beaujolais, Mendocino, California
By Margaret S. Fox and John Bear
(That I know the title of the book the recipe is from is only due to Google Book Search--what I have is a photocopied page with no details.)

4 cups regular (not instant or quick-cooking) oats
2/3 cup wheat germ
2/3 cup unsweetened big flake coconut
6 Tb sesame seeds
6 Tb sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashews, raw, in pieces, or sliced almonds, or both (I like both.)

2/3 cup corn oil
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dried fruit and/or raisins (optional) (I usually use a mix of raisins and dried cranberries)

Mix together oats, wheat germ, coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and nuts in a large bowl.

In a saucepan, combine corn oil, honey, vanilla and salt. Cook over low heat until honey is melted. Pour over the dry mixture and blend thoroughly.

Spread out in a lightly greased 10 x 15 x 1-inch pan and bake at 300 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Cool thoroughly, add optional fruit or raisins and store in a plastic bag or airtight container

Serve with fresh fruit and milk. (Or, of course, homemade yogurt!)

Makes 7 cups without raisins.

*My main advice for this is to be very attentive to the stirring when it's in the oven. This is not a recipe where you can go and do other things while it's baking--I tried that and ended up with burnt granola. A lot of it. Now, I set the timer for 10 minutes and religiously stir. If it's on more than one pan (which will happen if you make a bigger recipe), I also switch oven racks partway through. It also may well be done after half an hour. (My most recent batch was.) I think it's safer to err on the light side with this recipe.

1 comment:

Debi said...

Sue, I just love these glimpses into your kitchen and your life. I'm probably not going to make yogurt OR granola soon - well, maybe the yogurt..yum! - but I do love knowing that YOU do it and that I can do it.

Also, I love the pictures. No matter what they of, they always look so pretty.