Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Easy, Yummy Granola

This is the best and easiest homemade granola recipe I've tried. It is so yummy on ice-cream, with yogurt or milk or even by itself. The recipe and photo are from Tiny Urban Kitchen (a great site!)I added sliced almonds, golden raisins and ground flax seeds to mine.

Homemade Granola
Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes
Cool time: 10-15 minutes

2 cups oats
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1-2 T brown sugar (optional - if you like it sweeter)

Preheat oven to 350 °F.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until all the oats are somewhat wet. The whole mixture should be a bit clumpy and wet. If you like clusters, you can add a tiny splash of water (like 1-2 tsp) to help some of the oats stick together.

Spread out the mixture on a pan and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Halfway through baking, you can stir the granola around. It will smell wonderful as the honey begins to slowly caramelize.

The longer you bake the granola, the darker in color it will become. If you like your granola relatively lightly golden brown, remove it after 20 minutes. It may still seem kind of wet, but don't worry! It will harden as it cools. Definitely take it out before the honey burns (i.e. when "golden brown" has turned into "black"). I learned this the hard way! After 30 minutes in the oven a portion of my oats had turned brown/black! [Although, to be perfectly honest, I really like slightly burnt food, and I actually loved the slightly burnt sugar flavor in these oats. I ended up eating most of the not-yet-completely-burned-bits of this batch . . YUM!]

Let the granola cool. Stir it around a bit - it will dry up nice and crunchy.

Of course, once you've made the basic granola, you can stir in other add-ins like dried fruit, coconut slivers, chocolate chips, etc. I happen to be super picky when it comes to granola, and I actually like mine plain. If you want to add nuts or seeds, you should mix them in with the oats and honey before baking.