Monday, April 12, 2010


Granola ingredients stored in Ball jars on the shelf of my new kitchen island.

A few months ago, I decided to try a recipe from Tosca Reno's Clean Eating Cookbook for granola. I'd never made my own granola before, but it seemed simple enough. That first batch was made with our own honey, dried pears from our own trees and mixed rolled grains from Bob's Red Mill Store on the other side of Portland. It was so delicious and so cheap that we decided that we were never buying store bought cereal again! Since then, I've played around with the ingredients using different sweeteners, different dried fruits, different nuts and even an experiment adding orange zest and maple syrup. So far, I've only had one failed batch for over-cooking the syrup. Out of the 10-12 batches I've made, I figure that's pretty good!

The basic recipe calls for 1 cup each of 4 different rolled (flaked) grains. I typically use a combination of oats, wheat, rye and either triticale or barely. For seeds, it uses sunflower and sesame. For nuts, it calls for almonds (I've used both sliced and slivered) and I often add or substitute pecans. The syrup that you toss the ingredients with is a combination of oil (canola or olive), sucanant (I've used date sugar or brown sugar as well), honey (or maple syrup), vanilla extract and a dash of salt. This part gets heated gently and then everything gets stirred in a big bowl and then spread out on a baking sheet with a good lip.

You bake it for 40 minutes at 300F. And you MUST stir the mixture every 10 minutes. The recipe then calls for the addition of the dried fruit at the end just prior to cooling. I added it at the beginning the first time I made it because I didn't read the instructions carefully and I actually liked it better that way. I think the flavors blend better and the fruit is a tad chewier in texture which I enjoy. Now I usually mix it in with 10-20 minutes left to bake as a compromise.

Granola baking in the oven.

Dried cranberries and date nuggets awaiting addition. I use unsweetened cranberries for more zing.

Finished granola! I like to add the dried fruit with 10 or so minutes left to bake as I feel like it better incorporates the fruit.

This stores beautifully for a week or two in an air-tight container. It's SOOO much more delicious than sore bought cereals - and much healthier, too.

The two best batches we've made were the first one and the one pictured here. Both were made with local, raw honey. The first one was our own honey, the one pictured here using honey from a friend. Wow, what a difference GOOD honey makes!


Kacie Darden said...

That looks amazing! What do you eat as a serving size? 1/2 cup?!

Barbara said...

I've just started making granola too. We've been mixing it with some Trader Joe cereal. This is the recipe that I have been using (if you're interested):

Cat said...

Hi Kacie!

I usually do about 1/4 cup when I mix it with yogurt, or 1/2 to 3/4 when I eat it as cereal with milk. It's quite filling!

Hi Barbara - that looks delicious!