Friday, January 18, 2008
Suite Apple Granola
Mmmm!! What better recipe to post as the first of 2008 than my granola.
I'm an awful slacker and dropped the ball on blogging during the holiday season. It was filled with cooking and baking, and in retrospect I am sad I did not document it. Christmas cookies, apple crisp, more ravioli, turkey burgers, fruitcake, dinner rolls- created and gobbled down by myself and those in my path. I know I can't plead a busy schedule because so many blog away through November and December. I must plead being young and new and pledge to do better next year.... that sounds a bit too much like a New Year's resolution to me, so let's just call it a promise. :-)
My granola recipe is my own, one that I adapted after being inspired by a recipe belonging to Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. It really does not resemble hers at all anymore so I can truly call it mine. I like granola but it's always so high in fat and calories. I wanted to create a recipe that all the flavor with the fraction of the consequences. It's the nutty toasted flavor of granola that I love, not the chunkiness. Granola is chunky because of the oil and sugar clumping it together. My granola is more cereal-like, but the flavors are there. I use a fraction of the oil and sugar in my recipe. I've tried a few different sweeteners and I like maple syrup's flavor the best, but you could also use honey or a sugar syrup. It is delicious with vanilla soy milk but my family and I like to use it a little as a garnish on top of oatmeal- very delicious!
Suite Apple Granola
4 cups old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking)
1 cup sweetened coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
scant 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
dried fruit as desired, such as golden raisins and blueberries
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix oats, coconut, and almonds in a large bowl. Add vegetable oil and maple syrup and stir well to combine and coat all ingredients. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet.
Bake for 75-90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to toast evenly and thoroughly. Cook time depends on the level of toastiness you prefer. This granola is best when well toasted, when the coconut and almonds are dark golden.
*Variation- Coconutty Granola
Sometimes I want more coconut and less almonds, especially when I'm using it as a topping to oatmeal or ice cream. When the mood strikes, I make this recipe~
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup almonds
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
scant 1/4 cup maple syrup
dried fruit if desired
Follow recipe for Suite Apple Granola, mixing ingredients and baking at 250 degrees and stirring periodically. Bake closer to 75 minutes due to the smaller quantity, but monitor the granola to determine your preferred level of toastiness.