Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Making Homemade Granola

A few months ago, I bought a box of Quaker Warm & Crunchy Granola (I think because it was on sale and I had a coupon). That's usually the only way I'll try something new - yes, I know, I'm kind of set in my ways :)


Anyways, I've had a few of these packages for breakfast and they are pretty tasty. But, I've been thinking of trying my hand at making some homemade granola, especially after I looked at the ingredient list on the side of the Quaker Warm & Crunchy Granola package. Guess how many items were listed? Would you believe 22? Yikes. That is one reason why I like to bake and cook so much. I can control the ingredients!  I found several recipes for something called "overnight" granola, but more than a few used a ton of cinnamon (like at least one tablespoon).  As much as I am a cinnamon "gal," even that sounded a bit extreme!  I came up with my own recipe instead. Granola is pretty versatile. I put some into a bowl Sunday morning, added milk and sliced an entire banana on top. I wasn't hungry for lunch for a LONG time :) You can put some in with yogurt and make a "parfait."  I am totally addicted to Greek yogurt right now, so that's what I used for mine Monday morning:



If you are headed out to work, school, the gym, running errands, etc.,  put some in a plastic container or a zippered sandwich bag - it's an awesome snack. Toss some almonds or raisins in (my sister's idea) - thanks sis!  For an after dinner treat - how about a scoop of vanilla ice cream with some granola sprinkled on top?? What's cool about this "overnight" granola recipe is that you do the prep work the night before and it's ready to eat in the morning!!! It doesn't get much easier than that, does it?!?!?!?!?!
 


Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 1/2 cups quick oats
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  In small saucepan, melt butter slowly. When butter is completely melted, remove from heat and add honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Stir with large spoon until smooth.  In large bowl, put the quick oats, old fashioned oats and walnuts.  Pour the butter mixture over the oats and walnuts and with large spoon stir until it is completely covered. In a non-stick jelly roll pan (11 x 17 inches), spread the granola evenly with a spoon or knife.  Bake for 10 minutes and then turn oven off. Wait at least ten hours to open oven.  When ready to eat, pull the pan out and break up into clumps with your hands!

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