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helenjp

Granola

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Granola is about to meet my sons, Airman and Ammonite, for the first time in their short, protected lives. It will soon (I hope) start getting too warm for good old porridge, and my schedule this years means that some days I leave the house before they eat breakfast. That means Granola.

The plan is: Home-made Granola. The design criteria are: no teeth-breaking BLOs (bolt-like objects). Nobody must develop diabetes as a result of granola consumption. Total cost of ingredients must not exceed household income.

I'm just off to the supermarket, where I hope to decide whether to go for gingery granola or cocoa-y granola ingredients. Documentation to follow...

(Actually, blush, granola is not a first for me, because I spent all my undergraduate years within the "dust-zone" of Auckland's Northern Roller Mills. We quickly found that a sack of oats was much cheaper than the equivalent quantity of bread. Shortly after that, we discovered that no price was too expensive for bread.) However, I've thoroughly forgotten all that, so kindly consider my personal granola history as a kind of Japanese history textbook, write me down as an absolute beginner, and share your favorite granola recipes and methods with me, please!

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Granola is about to meet my sons, Airman and Ammonite, for the first time in their short, protected lives. It will soon (I hope) start getting too warm for good old porridge, and my schedule this years means that some days I leave the house before they eat breakfast. That means Granola.

The plan is: Home-made Granola. The design criteria are: no teeth-breaking BLOs (bolt-like objects). Nobody must develop diabetes as a result of granola consumption. Total cost of ingredients must not exceed household income.

I'm just off to the supermarket, where I hope to decide whether to go for gingery granola or cocoa-y granola ingredients. Documentation to follow...

(Actually, blush, granola is not a first for me, because I spent all my  undergraduate years within the "dust-zone" of Auckland's  Northern Roller Mills. We quickly found that a sack of oats was much cheaper than the equivalent quantity of bread. Shortly after that, we discovered that no price was too expensive for bread.) However, I've thoroughly forgotten all that, so kindly consider my personal granola history as a kind of Japanese history textbook, write me down as an absolute beginner, and share your favorite granola recipes and methods with me, please!

This is so good, and easy. I just got it out again the other day, and made a big batch. Depending on what is on hand, I may add different nuts or dried fruit like cranberries, but this is the basic recipe. Only takes about 10 minutes to make in a skillet.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons toasted coconut (optional, I like it)

2 tablespoons nuts (almond, cashews, walnuts, whatever)

1 cup old-fashioned oats

Heat butter and honey in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until butter is melted. Stir in nuts and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add oats and coconut and cook, stirring and tossing with 2 wooden spoons, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Spread granola evenly on a large sheet of foil to cool.

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Never heard o' the skillet method-I made it in the oven.

Very time consuming but a fabulous product as I recall. :wub:

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Pam, I hadn't thought of making it in a skillet either, but I was interested to see that your recipe used butter rather than oil.

Today I made two versions that combine oats with "crumble". Kids were enthusiastic. :raz: I'll add photos later...

Knusper "Florentines" Granola

Make a crumble out of:

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt, optional

1 cup ground almonds

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp instant coffee

1-3 tabs cocoa (I used 1, more would have been better).

Mix in 2 cups rolled oats

1 cup whole almonds, chopped

2 cups raisins, with the juice of half an orange squeezed over them, and the zest of 1 orange (zest of 2 oranges would be even better...).

Mix everything except dried fruit to a crumbly consistency. You will probably use a smaller quantity of oats if you use the regular ones and/or a more crumble-like consistency, and a larger quantity if you use thick rolled oats, and/or prefer a more granola-like consistency.

Heat oven to 300degF, 150degC, and bake, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Then add orange/raisin mixture, stir, and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Spread and cool baked granola. When cool, sprinkle over 2 tab cocoa and 4oz or so of chopped dark chocolate, mix together, and pack into airtight containers.

Wild Lemon Granola

Make a crumble out of:

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt, optional

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cardamon

1 tab ground cinnamon

1 tab ground ginger

Mix in 4 cups rolled oats

1 cup whole walnuts, chopped

2 cups mixed fruit - cranberries and crystallized pineapple.

Peel of one lemon, shredded, and about 1/2 inch of fresh ginger, sliced and shredded - heated with 3 tab sugar to a syrupy consistency. Crystallized ginger would be nice too, but I didn't have any.

To finish, approx. 1 tsp lemon essence (amount depends on strength of essence or extract).

Mix everything except dried fruit to a light, crumbly consistency - this is much lighter and less like a "crumble" than the recipe above. You will probably use a smaller quantity of oats if you use the regular ones and/or a more crumble-like consistency, and a larger quantity if you use thick rolled oats, and/or prefer a more granola-like consistency.

Heat oven to 300degF, 150degC, and bake, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Then chopped dried fruits, stir, and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Spread and cool baked granola. When just warm, sprinkle over 1 tsp lemon essence plus ginger and lemon peel shreds in syrup, mix together, and cool completely before packing into airtight containers.

Still to come (a family can only eat so much granola!!) Matcha Mango Granola, Somewhat Tart & Slightly Seedy Apricot and Sesame Granola, Savory Red Pepper Okonomiyaki Granola. Hmmm...and what would taste good with peanut butter in a granola, I wonder :hmmm: ???


Edited by helenjp (log)

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Wild Lemon Granola

1/2 cup margarine or butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt, optional

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cardamon

1 tab ground cinnamon

1 tab ground ginger

Mix in 4 cups rolled oats

1 cup whole walnuts, chopped

2 cups mixed fruit - cranberries and figs. Crystallized ginger would be nice...

Edit: Wasn't sour and lemony enough, so I added chopped crystallized pineapople. That helped. Might dry some lemon zest in sugar overnight and mix it in later...

Umm, Helenjp, did you forget to put in the lemon amounts?

As for your peanut butter question, you may want to reduce the oil amount slightly if you start adding peanut butter. For the size of batch above, I would suggest 3/4 to 1 cup peanut butter and reduce the oil to ~1/3 or 1/4 cup for starters.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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did you forget to put in the lemon amounts

I stuck it in the method part of the recipe, so that people wouldn't be tempted to add it before baking the granola, but I've gone back and added it to the ingredients. I also added lemon and ginger shreds and they make a big difference, so I've edited the recipe to show those changes. The crystallized pineapple has a sharp tang too.

Thanks for the hint on using peanut butter!


Edited by helenjp (log)

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I have been lear to make this and have a few questions:

1. I am confused about the crumbly consistency as opposed to the granola consistency. This is a little silly, but can you pls explain clearer how you get either and what it should look like? If this has something to do with the flour added please say.

3. Wheat germ. Should I add the toasted wheat germ after the the mixture is baked and cood OR would I add it before? Would the toasted wheat germ burn....or what? Maybe use untoasted wheat germ?

3 Another method someone suggested: Toast each component separately and then mix together toasted components with the butter and sweetener. That wouldn't be crunchy, would it?

I hope you can help me here...I bought all my ingredients yesterday after I say the Barefoot Contessa - Ina Garten - make it.

Thanks.

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Also about the Lemon Granola:

1. Are the 3 TBS of sugar for the syrup separate from the half cup for the crumble?

2. Is the syrup of ginger, etc. and lemon essence for the post baking phase as well as pre-baking phase...or...? I was a tad confused.

3. Part of my question above, I think. How hould adding the syrup after baking affect the "crunch"..would it be sticky or....I guess this is candymaking 101 but I am still figuring things out...

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I can't get wheatgerm in Japan, but from what I remember, it used to burn easily.

However, this time I used a much lower temperature. I think it would be OK at 300degF. Anybody got any great wheatgerm techniques???

If you add sugar and oil/butter to straight oats, it will get hard and crisp-crunchy.

However, if you rub butter or margarine into flour (or something similar) and sugar, and bake it, you will get something that resembes the "crumble" topping on desserts like Apple Crumble...something similar to a cookie dough, in a lot of ways!

So the recipes I gave are basically a crumble dough with extra oats and nuts added before baking, and fruit added at the end.

Hope that isn't more confusing...

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Thanks. I will try with and without four. Did you see my following post about the syrup, lemon essence and how the addition the syrup post baking affects the granola?

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Also about the Lemon Granola:

1. Are the 3 TBS of sugar for the syrup separate from the half cup for the crumble?

2. Is the syrup of ginger, etc. and lemon essence for the post baking phase as well as pre-baking phase...or...? I was a tad confused.

3. Part of my question above, I think. How hould adding the syrup after baking affect the "crunch"..would it be sticky or....I guess this is candymaking 101 but I am still figuring things out...

Sugar for the syrup was separate, but that was really because I used it to "doctor" the recipe after it was completed. I am thinking of a less troublesome way of adding these ingredients, but this method probably gives the freshest flavor.

If you used white sugar instead of brown sugar in this recipe, you could easily take 3 tabs from the total amount instead of adding 3 more tablespoons. However, this is a fairly big recipe, so an additional 3 tab of sugar still doesn't make the granola very sweet.

Also, because the total amount of oats is large (and therefore the proportion of fat/oil is lower), adding the syrup at the end didn't make the granola sticky.

The syrup and lemon essence are for the post-baking phase only. Too easy to burn during the baking, and most of the flavor would disappear too.

By the way, the lemon granola is a big recipe - you might want to reduce it way down for a trial run.

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Another suggestion I have is from my mom's granola recipe--which sadly I don't have access to right now--hers calls for honey and corn syrup instead of granular sugar.

I also recall her recipe gets baked at 325F/180C. Hers is crumbly because it gets stirred every 15 or 20 minutes to break up the "bars". It's significantly different than store-bought granola bars, but much tastier, IMO.

Hers also calls for wheat germ which I've never noticed burning, but it does take on a "golden brown and delicious" character.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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When my hubbie and I did a lot of hiking a few years ago, we tried out a bunch of different granola recipes. The following is our favorite -- totally delicious and simple to make.

4 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300F and spray a sheet pan (or baking sheet) with nonstick spray (or lightly oil).

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Heat the oil and honey to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat (or in a glass container in a microwave). Stir the vanilla into the oil/honey mixture, pour over the dry ingredients and still well until thoroughly mixed (after initially stirring with a spoon, I usually use my hands to get it really well mixed).

Spread the mixture onto the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Bake for ~30 minutes total. Cool completely in the pan and then break up into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes ~8 cups (I usually double the recipe.)

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325F is a lot cooler than 180C! I'm sure we used to bake our granola in way too hot an oven.

jsolomon and mktye, I see you both recipes with honey. I plan to try one with honey (another Rare Ingredient here in Japan!) and will be interested in how it affects the texture. I've decided that texture is really the issue I'm concerned about - flavor is pretty much what you want to make it, it's the texture that I want better control over :cool: .

Meanwhile, time to put my toys away, pack my work bag, and head for bed!

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325F is a lot cooler than 180C! I'm sure we used to bake our granola in way too hot an oven.

Ack! You're right. I blindly went on with my units(1) conversion. I'll have to check the program. Let's say, 160C.

You can subsitute nearly any thick syrup for honey. You can use sorghum, molasses, fructose syrup, glucose syrup... I would steer clear of simple syrup because of its high water content, though.

What is the texture that you are aiming for with your granola?


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Oh, granola! I'm the granola-queen. I make 20 cups every two weeks or so, and it's all for me. You can substitute anything, really, for the ingredients in my rather open-ended recipe:

GRANOLA

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup honey

12 cups rolled oats

3 cups chopped nuts

2 cups seeds

1 cup shredded dried coconut

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

2 cups chopped dried fruit

Place two oven-racks at second-highest and second-lowest levels in oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil and honey until warm. Stir in oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves until well coated. Spread evenly onto two light-colored aluminum 13” x 18” jelly-roll pans lined with non-stick silicone baking mats. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden-brown, stirring granola and switching positions of pans halfway through baking. Remove from oven. Cool to room temperature. Granola turns crisp upon cooling. Mix in dried fruit. Makes 20 cups. Store in airtight container.

For granola that is chunky, press flat with spatula immediately after removing from oven; and break into small pieces after cooling to room temperature.

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What is the texture that you are aiming for

The problem that I remember is oily granola that was hard and gritty rather than crisp and crunchy.

I'm pleased with the texture of the two "crumble" type granolas, but I want to try a regular oil/honey type one too, because I think part of the problem was probably having the oven too hot! :raz:

The granolas I made are disappearing remarkably fast, courtesy of sons, so I expect I will be reporting back on a "browniebaker" type recipe quite soon!

One thing - am I the only person who doesn't really like coconut in granola? My objection is pretty trivial - I don't like the fact that it floats while everything else sinks :huh: .

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I would tread lightly if you're thinking of cutting the coconut out of your granola. My brother does not like coconut whatsoever. He took my mother's recipe and made it without the coconut and ended up tossing the batch in the trash.

Coconut definitely brings many flavors to the table and rounds out the granola quite nicely. I believe you'll miss it if it's gone. How about mixing yours in yogurt instead of milk so the coconut doesn't float?


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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One thing - am I the only person who doesn't really like coconut in granola?

No, you are not alone. I love coconut, but not in granola. :smile:

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I used to make a granola that used barley malt syrup that I got in a natural foods store.

It performed the syrup function without a lot of over-sweetness and it tasted great! I'll try to find the recipe when I get home. It was very easy to make--all the nuts, dried fruits and grains were mixed together; the syrup and oil heated to a boil and mixed with the other stuff, then spread on a baking sheet for a while in an medium hot oven until golden and crispy--usually about 15-20 min if I remember correctly.

I made it for college students, and had to make it in large batches every week.


It's not the destination, but the journey!

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I like some of the spices many of you are using in your granola. My recipe, the first one is really basic, but I do like the taste you get from butter.

Next time I make it, I'll have to use some of the spices suggested here, like cardamom, etc.

:) Pam

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I meant to make a version with just the nutmeg, actually 1/2 tsp is probably enough in the blend I have in the recipe above...but it's hard for me to tell too much about flavors at present, since the Japanese hayfever season is still dragging on!

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Made mktye's recipe, with the addition of a 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour. It turned out beautifully crisp and crunchy, and when dry wasn't sticky.

Chefcyn, I was planning on using a Japanese cereal syrup, sounds similar to barley malt syrup - hope it's as successful!

Then I went back to the "crumble" type granolas I was experimenting with, and made pink and green granolas for the end of cherry-blossom season :raz: .

Cherry-pink Granola

Make a crumble of:

1/2c butter

1/2 white sugar

1 c ground almonds

1 c light whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp or so almond flavor oil. If using essence, probably best added later.

Rub thoroughly into 4 cups of oats.

Add 1 cup slivered almonds.

Bake 150C/300F for approx 30 minutes (depends how fast your oven is to heat up), stirring once or twice, then pour over about 1/4 to 1/2 c grenadine syrup to achieve the color you want, bake another 7-10 minutes. Add 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries if you wish, and allow to cool.

Green Matcha Mango Granola

Make a crumble of:

1/2c butter

1/2 white sugar

1 c ground almonds or 1 c ground sesame seeds (note: this will mask the tea flavor)

1 c light whole wheat flour

1 tab powdered green tea.

1/4-1/2 c black sesame seeds if you plan to eat this granola by itself, and not with the pink granola.

Rub thoroughly into 4 c rolled oats.

Bake 150C/300F for approx 30 minutes (depends how fast your oven is to heat up), stirring once or twice. Remove from oven, toss an additional tsp of powdered green tea through the granola, and add 1 cup snipped up dried mango, and allow to cool.

Don't try and store the two colored granolas together - but they do look pretty together in the bowl!

Velvety Peanut Granola

Make a crumble of:

1 c peanut butter (I used Laura Scudder's Old-Fashioned Nutty - roughly 1/2 a 1lb jar)

1/4-1/2c brown sugar

1 tab cinnamon

2 c fine steel-cut oats (Bob's Red Mill Irish - you can use regular steel-cut oats, but the texture will be coarse and grainy, not soft)

2 c oats

Add 1 cup or so of peanuts (I like them pre-salted and dry roasted in the shell, but then I live in peanut-growing country!)

Optional: zest of 1 orange added 10 minutes before end of cooking

Bake 150C/300F for approx 30 minutes (depends how fast your oven is to heat up), stirring once or twice. Add 1 or 2 cups sultanas, and allow to cool.

This granola has quite a sandy texture which I like as a change from crunchy granola - it's not dry because of the nut content. However, you can make it crunchy-style using the oil/syrup method too -- eliminate the brown sugar, and pour over about 1/3 c oil heated with honey or molasses etc before baking.


Edited by helenjp (log)

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So I thought I would bring up an old topic since I recently started having a Granola addiction and have tried to make it myself a few times. I used the Alton Brown recipe subbing the cashews (can't find them affordable unsalted) with macadamia nuts and flax seeds. While this tasted great it didn't have the "Brick" form that I wanted it to. It had a more cereal feel. Is there a way to get it to clump together? I have also wondered if it matters what type of oats I use. The recipe calls for "Rolled" oats - I found ones that call themselves that but they are a bit pricey and bring my food cost up quite a bit - would regular "Quaker" type oats do or is there a difference?

Thanks!

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"Rolled" oats is merely a definition of how the oat is processed: in this case it is rolled out into a flat oat. Quaker oatmeal is a rolled oat. "Steelcut" oats are just that: the whole oat is cut with tiny steel knives and they end up in tiny chunks.

Has anyone used agave nectar for sweetening? I'd like to make granola for friends who are borderline diabetic and agave has a low glycemic index. I'd prefer to leave out all that sugar anyway.

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