Tailor-Made

September 28, 2009

Tailor-Made

Tailor-Made

Granola has the unattractive image of being just for hippies, sort of like patchouli. But granola is for the chic, too. Here is a template for granola – it’s a flexible recipe that you can tailor as you see fit. If you read the list of ingredients and raisins don’t suit you then leave them out and substitute in something else. Or, again, if you read the list of ingredients and think “What the hell? I don’t have amaranth in my pantry, I can’t make this.” Well then, swap out the amaranth for more oatmeal flakes. In fact, you can swap out the quinoa flakes, ground flax, buckwheat kasha and the amaranth and use only oatmeal, just ensure that you put in a total of five cups. Same with the nuts and seeds. What I’ve chosen to put in my granola depends on both what I like and what I have on hand. It’s not that much work to make your own granola. This recipe makes loads, you will have plenty, even if you give some away. Not only is granola expensive to buy, it often contains bad oil and refined sugars, and lots of both. And if you custom-make your own you can put in exactly what you like, as I’ve said, so that it fits your appetite. Not that you’re fussy. It is a scrumptious and addictive breakfast with almond milk, and a superb snack that travels well. Now, shake shake shake those chic hips and start measuring and pre-heating. Just stay away from the patchouli, okay?

Makes: loads

3 cups large flake, old fashioned oatmeal

1 cup quinoa flakes

3/4 cup buckwheat kasha*

1/4 cup amaranth

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional

3/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup unsweetened coconut, I am especially fond of ribbon coconut

1/2 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup natural, unsweetened apple juice

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup dried blueberries

1/2 cup cocoa nibs** or chopped dark chocolate, optional

Pre-heat your oven to 350º and adjust your racks so that you have two racks as in the centre of your oven as possible. In quite a large bowl (hopefully you own one and didn’t sell it at this year’s yard sale… you can use a large pot if you did) combine oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and sea salt. Stir in the spices, if you’re using. Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don’t. If you’re a cinnamon girl as the lovely Jen G.*** is, use all cinnamon and leave out the cardamom. Add the seeds and nuts and set aside. Measure the apple juice, agave and vanilla directly into a measuring cup, stir and pour evenly over your big bowl or pot of granola-to-be. Toss and stir well to thoroughly dampen all ingredients. Turn out onto two parchment-lined half-sheet pans and spread out evenly. Set aside your bowl, or pot, but don’t wash it yet. Slide both trays into your oven. Bake for about half an hour or so, being diligent about stirring so that it toasts evenly. Stir at least twice during the baking time and rotate the pans once. Meanwhile, in your slightly used bowl or pot, toss in the dried fruit and cocoa nibs or chocolate, if using. I think chocolate would be very nice in granola but I can’t be trusted, I would pick out the chocolate bits and end up with a bowlful of chocolate and almond milk for breakfast. Once your granola is out of the oven, cool completely before adding it to your dried fruits and cocoa nibs or chocolate. Combine and store in a large cookie jar or container. In theory your granola will last for a long time, it has a good shelf life. But you will probably make short work of it.

*Buckwheat kasha are toasted buckwheat groats, and they’re gluten-free. I think kasha has a cinnamon-esque flavour. It’s considered a pseudo-cereal because it’s not a grass but a fruit seed.

** Cocoa nibs are fermented and crushed cocoa beans. They are raw and minimally processed, contain no sugar and are super-high in antioxidants as well as minerals. Plus, they have a deep, nutty chocolate taste because they are chocolate.

*** Jen G. is a superstar (note the three *s by her name) and one of the divine Parkside Runners. She has the prettiest, craziest eyes out of all of us. Once she is on board for something, like a marathon or a triathlon, she develops tunnel vision. Training for our first triathlon begins after the RVM!

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11 Responses to “Tailor-Made”

  1. Dad said

    Rather than milk on my granola I use yogurt, I mix it in 5 or 15 minutes before eating, almond milk is good as well.

  2. JenG said

    *blush* Why thank you. I’ve been waiting for this post. What a stunning photo Dawne!

  3. court e nay said

    thank goodness i didn’t sell my large pot at the yard sale I would be in trouble.
    can’t wait to make this. mmmmmm sounds great. Truth be told jen does have very pretty crazy eyes

  4. jevanshead said

    Great post Dawne-O. Great image Dawne-O. I also agree that JenG eyes are spectacular.

  5. JenG said

    I’m seriously flattered, thank you.

  6. Julie said

    Love this post, love the granola and love the trouble that Jen’s pretty, crazy eyes get us into. Go team Parkside!

  7. june said

    yummy! and super easy to make! I now have no need to buy granola at the store again!

  8. Ellis said

    hhmm… I’m curious to see Jen G’s pretty, crazy eyes. Pictures please?

  9. Heather Haley said

    I have loved your recipes since Meghan and Rob Clarke told me about I. My family loves granola clusters, what do I need to change or add to make that happen?

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