March 24, 2019

Gourmet Granola

Maple-Pecan Granola
February was 'Snowpocalypse in Seattle' - this happens once in a few decades and everything just shuts down. Freeways become a parking lot and all the grocery stores are striped bare. We were lucky to have a stocked pantry, plenty of gas and all the family safe at home.

During the grocery stockpiling, I had brought home a new variety of almond granola from Trader Joe's that turned out to be really delicious. Well, it got devoured with 15 minutes and we all wanted  more. So, we googled and read a bunch of recipes and started experimenting. Being cooped up during the snowmageddon has its benefits - we learned to make granola at home and there is no way we will ever buy it from a store again!

Here is the link that inspired us to try different variations on our granola -

Maple-Pecan Granola
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups flaxmeal
Salt to taste
1/3 cup avocado oil
2/3 cup maple syrup

Almond Butter-Coconut Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut (dry and unsweetened)
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup almond meal
Salt to taste
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup almond butter (untoasted and unsalted)
1 cup black raisins (optional)

Vanilla Blueberry Granola
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup almond meal
1 cup flaxmeal
Salt to taste
1/2 cup avocado oil
3/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup dried blueberries
(I used the Wild Blueberry Mix from Trader Joe's)

Pre-heat oven to 250 deg. Take a large cookie sheet with a short edge (or a jelly roll pan) and line it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (no dry fruits at this time). In a saucepan, mix the wet ingredients and warm slightly (on a stove or in microwave). Whisk the wet ingredients to mix well and add to the dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula to coat the ingredients thoroughly.

Vanilla Blueberry Granola
Spread this mix on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the middle rack of the oven and set a time for 15 minutes. When the timer rings, gently stir and turn over the granola mix in sheet for even browning. Set the timer again for 15 minutes. Repeat 3 more times until golden brown. Total time in oven - around 60 minutes. It will keep toasting even after you pull it out of the oven.

Stir in the dry fruits like raisins, cranberries or blueberries, right into the hot granola after it comes out of the oven. Tip: If you prefer the dry coconut to be less toasty, add it halfway through the baking process.

After it cools completely, transfer to an airtight, dry glass jar. Serve with yogurt and fresh fruit, or with fruit compote or with cold milk or just snack on it plain.