May 28, 2009
by Gareth Mark
If you've gone to the trouble of making yogurt, you really ought to consider making some granola to go along with it. The hardest part of making granola is deciding what to put into it.
Granola doesn't require a recipe. You select what you want in your granola, and in what quantity. All you need are the general instructions.
Mix together about 3 cups of regular rolled oats--steel-cut oats would work as well--a teaspoon or two of cinnamon and any other spices you might want, a teaspoon or so of vanilla if you wish, a cup or so of nuts and seeds of your choice, a cup or so of unsweetened shredded coconut if you wish, about three-quarters of a cup total of honey and maple syrup, and a quarter cup of canola oil. You'll have to adjust the quantity of honey and maple syrup to your taste. The oil is optional, but unless you use a nonstick baking sheet, you'll have problems with sticking without it.
Spread the mixture on one or two baking sheets and bake at 300°F/150°C for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so. It's done when it just starts to get dry. Mix in a cup or so of dried fruits to finish. After it's cool, store in an airtight container to keep it fresh. It will freeze well if you make a really large batch.
About that maple syrup. Use the real stuff, not something maple flavored. I recommend Grade B syrup. There's no need to spend more money for Grade A. Grade B is darker and has much more intense flavor. Grade A is nice for pancakes and waffles, but is really wasted in cooking.
Making granola is a great activity for children. They can pick what they want in their granola and mix it up themselves. They'll just need a bit of help with the baking part. They'll end up with a good lesson in cooking and a breakfast or healthful snack they can brag about because they made it themselves!