Tuesday, November 13, 2012

simple crunchy granola

that's pretty much all you need for this wonderful recipe.
(however it's MUCH MUCH better if you have a few other key ingredients)

it's granola!  it seems so simple, yet when i want some, it's easiest just to pick up a package of nature valley bars that are grab-n-go instead of making it.  but in reality, granola is OH so easy to make at home!  ...and the nice thing about it, is that you know everything that goes into it (is it just me, or does it really bug you too when an ingredients list says "natural flavorings"? wtf does that even mean !?) plus, it's good with just a few ingredients, or if you want to put 20 things in it, go for it!

this recipe is as simple as:
measure it
(or don't, eyeballing is totally fine)
mix it
bake it
bask in the irresistible smell that will fill your home
(who doesn't want that!? this would totally beat out the "bake cookies before showing a house" trick)

simple crunchy granola
(inspiration from Sara Kate at thekitchn.com )

must-have ingredients:
4 cups of rolled oats (regular kind, not quick oats)
1/2 cup of olive oil (plus 1/4 cup for every 4 cups of add'l dry ingredients)
1/3 cup of brown sugar (plus 1/4 cup for every 4 cups of add'l dry ingredients)
1 tsp salt (plus 1/4 tsp for every 4 cups of add'l dry ingredients)

optional (but totally worth it) ingredients:
coconut oil (substitute half of olive oil for coconut oil)
coconut flakes (add to dry ingredients before baking, you decide the quantity!)
nuts (add to dry ingredients before baking, you decide the quantity!)
almond or vanilla extract (add to wet ingredients before baking)
cinnamon (add to dry ingredients before baking)
egg whites (add to wet ingredients before baking, 1/2 cup of whites per 4 cups of oats)
dried fruit (toss in after baking, you decide the quantity!)
chocolate chips (toss in after baking, you decide the quantity!)
wheat germ (add to  dry  ingredients before baking)

- mix dry ingredients in a large bowl
- whisk together wet ingredients in another bowl
- pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix together
- pour mixture onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (or two, depending on how thick or chunky you want your granola)
- spread out the mixture evenly on the sheet
- bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, stir the mixture and spread out on sheet again, bake for another 15-20 minutes
- let cool completely before transferring to storage container (it will still be wet when it comes out, but will get crunchy when it cools down completely)

don't freak out.   that "optional" list of ingredients is lengthy, i know, but they aren't ALL necessary.  we made ours this weekend by adding the following:
- coconut oil
- walnuts
- cinnamon
- egg whites
- wheat germ

...and that was all just because we already had them in the pantry and didn't have to go buy anything. next time i'm banking on coconut flakes being the irresistible addition. the cheap kind that's been sweetened (because toasted sweetened coconut is to... die... for....) but maybe i'll get adventurous and try adding cayenne powder or something!! my mom makes this spicy, chocolate-drizzled chex mix stuff at christmas time that is SO good, and that same kick of spice seems like it would so perfectly in this recipe...  sweet and spicy are a perfect match sometimes!

the possibilities are endless, but at least you have a good base, and some idea for options to spice it up (pun intended :P) so, get creative with it!  then tell me about it.  what's your favorite thing to add to YOUR granola!?


1 comment:

Taylor Grace said...

Ooooh I'm a sucker for granola! And you make it look so easy.