Thursday, April 8, 2010

Homemade Granola . . . I May Never Buy Commercial Cereal Again!

My family loves granola . . . in any form. Their favorite form is the granola bar which I began making at the end of last year. I researched several different recipes to come up with a mixture my kids would like. Jeremy, the undisputed king of granola bars, loves the recipe that I came up with and lets me know when we are running out so I can make more.

My favorite form of granola is as a cold cereal with milk and it is so expensive in the stores so I decided to make my own. Hey, I am all about making things myself. Here at the Temple house, we make all of our own soaps (body and hand soap, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, dish washing liquid, shampoo, conditioner, household cleaners) breads, granola bars, sauces, spice mixes, stocks, etc. If I had a juicer . . .

Anyway, back to the granola. After reading several recipes and methods, I concocted my own version of what I thought I would like best and it is fat free (except for the fat the occurs naturally in the nuts). I call it Greatest Hits Granola. I like to make it at night after everyone is in bed so it can cool overnight.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Mix the following together in a large bowl:
3 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1 cup roughly chopped cashews
1 cup crispy rice cereal

In a small sauce pan, combine the following ingredients and heat over low heat until the brown sugar is dissolved. You do not need to bring this to a boil:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup applesauce (not chunky, I used homemade apple sauce)
1/4 cup mashed ripe banana
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt

Pour the liquid mixture over the ingredients in the bowl and mix to coat evenly. Divide the mixture between 2 sheet pans and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until evenly browned. Here is a picture of the 2 sheets baking. Every time I took them out to stir them, I rotated which rack they were on just so they would brown evenly.

When it is done baking, turn off the oven and prop the door open and leave the granola in the oven to cool on the sheet pans over night. In the morning, transfer the granola to an airtight storage container. See my new counter tops? I will be posting the whole story complete with pictures soon.

Then you can add in 1 cup or more of whatever you like (raisins, craisins, dried apples, dried apricots, mini chocolate chips, etc.). As you can see here, I added freeze dried apples and dried cranberries. See that lovely jug of milk in the picture? I just started buying our milk directly from the dairy. It is raw, full fat milk with the cream on top. You have to shake it before using unless you want to pour the cream off for another use. It is delicious and I have not had any problems digesting it as I have in the past with dairy products. I am beginning to think that pastuerization kills a nutrient in the milk that aids in digestion. It is illegal for raw milk to be sold in North Carolina for human consumption so, I cross the border to South Carolina to get it straight from the cow at Tucker Adkins Dairy.

Mmmmmmmm!!! Yummy Granola and Creamy Raw Milk!!!

I hope you are inspired to try this granola. I know if you do, you will be hooked!


Rona Diane said...

You DID NOT milk that cow. You got it straight from the farmer's wife's hand!! Hehe. Love you. Mean it!

Did you see KitchenStewardships post on granola and bars, too? Copy cat!

kristi_temple said...

Rona - I never said that I milked the cow, although I have done that once in my life. I did see Katie's post however, it is not the same recipe at all for either the bars or the cereal.

Laura said...

Very nice Kristi! I was just looking for a granola recipe. Will have to try this soon! Oh- and friends of ours sell "cow shares" so people around here can get raw milk. But if you buy a share of the cow, you get a share of all the cow produces (from whatever end you want). Great for gardens! lol