A Kitchen Staple – Homemade Granola

Granola2I make granola nearly once a week, sometimes twice. The aroma of cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest emanate from the kitchen and linger in the air. The scent alone is intoxicating. The kids smell it and come running. The oldest little one periodically turns on the oven light to peer in, waiting anxiously until we pull the browned oat and nut mixture out to cool. Then we scoop it into bowls and top with yogurt (which I sometimes make myself). It’s comfort in a bowl.

I’ve tried several recipes, but the creation I always come back to is one that I’ve lightly adapted from Heidi Swanson‘s, Supernatural Everyday. I’ve adjusted her proportions to create a granola that’s heavy on good-for-you nuts and seeds. I then sweeten it with a date paste, inspired by Deliciously Organic. The date paste provides just a subtle hint of sweetness that nicely complements the tang of the yogurt. Thus, this isn’t a sugary-sweet granola. We usually eat this stirred into unsweetened yogurt topped with raw honey, so I prefer to let the honey provide the sweet undertones. (If you’d prefer a sweeter granola (or don’t want the hassle of the date paste), just use 1/3 cup butter and a 1/2 cup of 100% pure maple syrup instead of the date paste. Melt the butter and syrup over low heat, then pour it over the granola before baking.) Also feel free to mix up the nuts and seeds, as well as the dried fruit. I’ve used dried cranberries, raisins and dried apricots with success.

Granola5Orange-Infused Nut & Seed Granola
Inspired by Heidi Swanson and Deliciously Organic

1 cup date paste, recipe here
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cashews or almonds
1 cup seeds
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup currants, raisins or other dried fruit

Heat the oven to 280.

Combine the date paste, maple syrup and butter over low heat. Once the butter has melted, pour in the vanilla. Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, salt, cinnamon, orange zest and dried fruit in a large bowl. Add the date/butter mixture to the oats and nuts, and stir well to combine, taking care to make sure everything is coated. Pour the mixture onto a foil-lined baking sheet, and evenly spread with a spatula. Bake for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally. You want a nice toasted brown, so watch it near the end. Since oven temps vary, you may have to remove it a bit early or cook your batch a bit longer. Remove to cool, then eat by the handful, with milk or stirred into yogurt.

 

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4 thoughts on “A Kitchen Staple – Homemade Granola

  1. Pingback: How to Save Money on Unprocessed, Whole Foods and A RECIPE | faith&composition

  2. Pingback: How to Make a Whole Foods Lifestyle Work for Your Family | faith&composition

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