Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yummy Granola..

Breakfast around here usually means grabbing something from the stockpile in the freezer, like oatmeal raisin pancakes, french toast, or waffles. We do keep cereal on hand, but not much because most of the cereal from the store has sugar in it. Here, we can't get nice bite sized shredded wheats without them being presweetened! We have found some juice sweetened cereals at our local health food shops, and they are very yummy, but 7 dollars for cornflakes or spelt flakes is a tad over the top. Especially when your 5 year old can eat a box of cornflakes in 3 days. So I don't stock up on them very often.

Instead, I decided to access the abyss known as my computer recipe files and locate my granola recipe. Bad news was, I couldn't find it. Good news is, we came up with something tastier then before. Extra good news was that Morgan wanted to help. Not only was it funny watching him help he was amazed by what we put it in and how gross (his words not mine!) it looked when we were done. I strongly suspect if he hadn't helped make it that he wouldn't have eaten it. It took him a while to convince Jayden that even though it looked "funny" it wasn't guinea pig food and he SHOULD eat it.

Homemade Granola

3 cups of rolled oats (not instant!)
1 cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas, they should be green because they are pre-hulled)
1 cup of sunflower seeds (pre-hulled obviously, I don't get salted and roasted, but raw)
1 cup of sliced (or whole) almonds or any other nut you want (sometimes we add peanuts)

Put them all in a bowl and mix them up. Then Add:

4 tablespoons molasses
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon stevia concentrate
2 tablespoons date puree (cause I didn't have any dates on hand)
6 tablespoons apple juice (we use fresh unsweetened that is bottled up the road)

Put it all in a pan on the stovetop and mix it up until well combined. Turn the stove on medium-high and let it come to a simmer. Remove from the heat and dump it on top of your oat mixture, and completely ignore the fact that my pan is missing a handle..

Mix until well combined, it should be a bit darker then the picture once all combined. You can use your hands, a spoon, or a rubber spatula. Just be careful if you use your hands because the molasses mixture could be hot!

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (baking paper) and split the granola between the two pans. Pop them in an oven at 275 F (135 C) degree oven for 10 minutes. Stir once, and let cook for another 10-15 minutes. It should be significantly dryer, but not completely dry.

While the oats cook mix up some dried fruit. I tend to use whatever I have in the cupboard, which is usually:

1 cup of black currants
1 cup of raisins (I chop them because Aussie raisins are HUGE)
1 cup of dried apples (I chop them as well in my handy dandy chopper.. every kitchen should have one! I use mine for just about everything!)
1 cup of dried pineapples (choose wisely, some are rolled in sugar when they are dried)
1/2 cup of any other dried fruit on hand (I had dried pears yesterday so I put them through my handy dandy chopper too!)

I don't always measure the fruit (like apples, pears, and raisins.. cranberries, cherries and currants I tend to measure.. pineapple too.. So some fruits might be a cup some might be 1/2 - 1 cup)

After the second cooking of the oats mix the dried fruit into the oats. I try to split it half & half, but it's not an exact science. It will all end up in the same bucket when it's done cooking.. I dump the fruit on the hot pans, use my rubber spatula or a wooden spoon and mix it in. Pop them back in the oven for another 10 -15 minutes.

Take it out of the oven, it may not seem crispy and 100% dry yet, but trust me on this one. if it's not puddled up on the parchment paper and the oats and almonds are lightly browned around the edges it's done. I take the parchment paper off the tray and plop it down on the counter (sometimes this takes a handy kitchen helper!!) to let it cool. It will crisp up as it cools and will even clump up!

Then try really hard to resist burning your fingers, lips, and tongue while it cools! It's very yummy and filling, and 100% sugar free.

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