August 10, 2013

Summer Granola: Winter Spices.

I love granola and eat it every week. So, I decided to make my own Brown Sugar Winter Spice Granola. Yes, I know it is summer, but I am so nostalgic for the crisp, cold weather, warm chunky scarves, anything pumpkin, sitting in small village bars in front of a fireplace, and oversized sweaters.

I usually avoid making my own by buying bulk Organic granola from my local store, but when gathering snacks for my road trip to Chicago I realized that the 100% Organic granola that I used to purchase was now "made with Organic oats" and the rest of the ingredients were conventional, so I decided to try it out.

The recipe called for walnuts and pecans which were unfortunately the most expensive nuts at the store right now. I also added chia seeds, dried cranberries (after baking) and maple syrup to mine. I think adding shredded coconut or dried cherries would be great. The beauty of granola is if you keep the amounts stated in the recipes consistent, you can really experiment with what you put in it. Plus it made my apartment smell AMAZING.

I saved over five dollars making my own and the whole batch cost me a little less than ten dollars. I still consider  ten dollars to be expensive so next time I will alter the recipe and put in cashews, almonds, and some pepitas in which are much more affordable and will probably lower the cost to 6 dollars bringing the price down from $1.25 a cup to about $.75 cents per cup.

Brown Sugar Winter Spice Granola:
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cup almonds chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup other mixed nuts or seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, cashew etc. 
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil UPDATE: I like using 1/3 cup Organic coconut oil instead of canola
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  1. Preheat oven to 250F 
  2. Combine the water and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until it boils and the sugar is completely dissolved
  3. Let the mixture cool to room temperature 
  4. In the meantime combine the oats, almonds, other nuts and seeds, cinnamon, and salt and mix well 
  5. Once the sugar mixture has cooled, add the oil and vanilla extract and stir until combined 
  6. Pour the sugar mixture into the oat mixture and combine with your hands
  7. Transfer to a baking sheet and pat down in an even layer 
  8. Bake for 60 minutes and then remove from the oven and using a spatula flip the granola 
  9. Return to the oven for 60 minutes until the granola is completely dried 
  10. Let cool before serving and store in a tightly sealed container. It will keep for 2 weeks. 
UPDATE: I have been playing with this recipe and I have stated to add a few things to it:
  • Add 1/4 cup Organic chia seeds to the mixture in step 4
  • Substitute Organic coconut oil for the canola oil in step 5 (I think it makes a sweeter granola)
  • Add 1/4 cup real maple syrup to the oat mixture in step 6 (I use Organic grade A)
  • I like to add Organic dried fruit to the granola after step 10. I use either Organic dried cranberries or Organic raisins. (I use Organic dried fruit because non-organic is said to use petroleum based sulfites to preserve them, YUK)



46 comments:

  1. Could I use honey instead of maple syrup? Would it ruin the texture or something? Thanks for the recipe! :)

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    Replies
    1. I use 3 cups of oats , 1/2 cup of olive-oil and 1/2 cup of honey, that also works. Replace some of the oats with nuts or add some flour to make it more chunky :)

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