The Granola Experiment, Episode 1


A few weeks ago I saw a post about homemade granola on a cute blog I recently discovered. I've been wanting to make granola for a while now, and since this recipe looked easy, I figured I should try it out. This is what I suspect will be the first of a few posts (well, at least one more) on my granola experiment as I attempt to find the perfect granola recipe. (The recipe for this granola is at the bottom of this post.)

The first step to homemade granola is buying the essential ingredients: oats, nuts, and fruit. 
Then I scraped the bottom of the honey jar and just barely made it. I actually didn't have quite enough, but I'd already been to the store twice that day and had no desire to leave the house again. 

I combined the nuts and oats in a mixing bowl. 
And added honey and olive oil.
Then I mixed in some spices and seasoning. 
Last, I covered a baking sheet with parchment paper and baked for 35 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring the granola every 15 minutes. The dried fruit was added during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
For this granola, I added dried cranberries, dried plums (chopped into small bits), and dried apricots. 
Here's the recipe I followed: 

2 cups oats (old fashioned, not the quick cooking kind)
1 1/2 cups nuts/seeds of your choice
1/3 cup oil 
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of ginger
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried fruit or other additions you like.
In a bowl, combine the oats and nuts/seeds. Pour in oil and honey (or maple syrup) and stir to combine. Add in seasonings and vanilla and mix well. Spread out on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 15 to make sure all pieces bake evenly. Add in dried fruit during the last 10 minutes of baking.

This first batch turned out a little over done. I'm going to try this recipe again and cook it for less time at a lower temperature. Hopefully that will fix the problem. I'm inclined to blame my crappy apartment oven. For the next episode, I will try a recipe given to me by a good friend. Results to come.

Have you ever made granola? Do you have any good granola-making tips?
Anonymous said...

I made homemade granola bars once! When I had a boyfriend who was allergic to oats, I wanted him to have a snack he could eat during the day at his super-stressful 12-hour job where he often didn't get to eat lunch. Someone suggested homemade granola bars where I used an oat substitute since he was allergic to that key ingredient.

I ended up finding a great recipe, but I modified it so much with substitutions (due to his allergies) that it's kind of unrecognizable. But the great thing about granola is that you can make it a hodge podge of almost anything, and it still counts.

As far as the bars, after I baked them, they had a little trouble holding together, so I cut them up, individually plastic-baggied them, and froze them. And that made them perfect. He LOVED them and even bragged about them later on to my NEXT boyfriend, who then began pestering me to make some for HIM for his long runs. So I'd call that a success.


Anonymous said...

PS Your granola looks pretty legit!

Unknown said...

I have not made granola, but I've always wanted to. For the cafe I'm going to make Museli, which is a lot like granola. I have not decided on a recipe yet, but it has loads more dried fruit. In tiny pieces.

Amanda said...

Audra, I remember you telling me about making granola bars! I might have to try making some. That's a good idea. Unfortunately, this granola got burnt. But stay tuned for my next installment of the granola saga :) I know this is super interesting stuff.

Kalyn, I can't wait for your cafe to be up and running! I expect lots of free stuff. JK. But that sounds really good! I love me some dried fruit.