Monday, September 10, 2007

granola power!

I haven't made granola in a really long time and so I made a batch tonight. Mine almost always has nuts, seeds and cinnamon. Here is my basic recipe for granola but the cool thing about granola is you can pretty much add any dried fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate/carob chips and spices/extracts. Of course, you can put only nuts or only seeds or only dried fruits but you may need to add additional oats. This isn't an exact science so play around with it until you find a technique/recipe you like!

2 tbsp Earth Balance (buttery stick)
4 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Agave Nectar
1 1/4 cup Oats
1/4 cup chopped nuts (whatever you like/have on hand)
1-2 tbsp seeds (whatever you like/have on hand)
cinnamon to taste (or whatever spice/extract floats your boat)
pinch of sea salt

* Preheat oven to 300 degrees
* In a small pan, melt on low heat the Earth Balance, Pure Maple Syrup and Agave Nectar.
* In a medium glass bowl combine the oats, nuts, seeds, spice(s) and the sea salt.
* Pour melted mixture on top of oat mixture and mix until everything is wet.
* Pour sticky mixture on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
* Bake for about 30-45 minutes (really depends on yr oven) until most of the wetness is gone. STIR MIXTURE SEVERAL TIMES DURING BAKING!!!
* Remove parchment paper with granola on it from the baking sheet onto counter top or cutting board and if using, stir in any dried fruits at this point. Let the granola dry completely. This cooling will actually be what makes the hot still moist granola turn magically into the crunchy stuff you are use to.
* If it lasts long (which it won't) store the completely cooled granola in a tight fitting Tupperware container.

~Nut Ideas- pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamias, peanuts, peanut or other nut butter (please note, if you are going to use a nut butter, melt it in with the margarine/syrup/agave).
~Seed Ideas- sesame, sunflower, ground flax.
~Dried Fruit Ideas- cranberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raisins, apples, apricots, banana chips, coconut flakes, dates.
~Miscellaneous Ideas- chocolate chips or carob chips (I would wait for the mixture to be 100% cooled down before adding these though)
~Spice Ideas- cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, cardamon.
~Extract Ideas- vanilla, almond, coconut.

Combo Ideas-
- walnuts, dried apples, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg.
- almonds, dried cranberries, vanilla extract.
- peanuts, peanut butter, chocolate chips.
- cashews, macadamias, dried banana chips, coconut flakes, cardamon.

My batch tonight had pecans, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg.
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Vegan_Noodle said...

Oh, I love crunchy, nutty granola. My mom used to make it occasionally growing up. I've never made it myself, not sure why, it sounds easy and there are endless combinations! Plus it's an easy way to have a healthy snack around for when you get the munchies. How do you enjoy your granola? I think my favorite way is with vanilla soy yogurt and fresh fruit...

Kelly Mahoney said...

I've never made my own granola. Thanks for the post, I'll have to try it some time.

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

vegan noodle- ah, yes! it is very easy to make. i think it taste better than store bought varieties. i eat my granola straight up, although with almond milk sounds good too. Jared has his with soy milk for breakfast.

kelly- for sure try to make some. its very satisfying to make yr own!

Leigh said...

Mmm, thanks for this. I see a vanilla almond granola in my future.

VeggieGirl said...

oooh, granola is incredible - I just started eating it every morning, a few weeks ago (my first time EVER having granola, haha). once again, you've posted another fabulous recipe!!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Oh snap! Why have I not thought of granola?

I was just trying to rearrange all the damn partial bags and half-used containers of this-n-that...grains, dried fruit, nuts and seeds and berries and raisins and stuff that fills the side door of the fridge. WHY do I collect so many?

So now, I have the perfect recipe for them, the perfect way to use everything up! I have all the ingredients and can't WAIT to come home tomorrow and make this!!


Almost Vegetarian said...

Do you know, I've never gotten around to making my own granola. It is just too easy, I supposed, to buy it. But this looks so much healthier. Ok, I've added it to the "gotta try" list.


tippitappi said...

ciao! that's a grest idea I love Granola, I never had it before but I know I will love it in the morning. Does it keep well in the fridge?

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

We are big granola fans! The girls & I think it fun to make, & this looks fabulous - thanks for sharing your recipe. :)

Anonymous said...

that looks great - i like your bowl, too! that would be a great addition for backpacking trips :)

bazu said...

Would you believe I've never made granola? Well, that's not exactly true-I did make some oatmeal cookies before I knew much about egg replacers, and they totally fell apart and turned into granola! What I meant was, I've never made granola on purpose. You've inspired me!

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

Thanks everyone! I hope ya'll try making granola yrself and play around with the recipe (or anti-recipe) and find a method you like.

Tippitappi- we just keep the granola on the counter top. I'm not sure what it would do if it was out in the fridge, but give it a try.

Pink Theory said...

Hi! I just stumbled across your blog and realized that we have the following things in common: our blogs use the same layouts and are more or less about vegan foods, our birthdays are in August where we both just turned 28 and we both live relatively near eachother. I reside in Atlanta (near Cosmo's actually) coming on a year strange!!

I am adding you to my blogroll and I look forward to reading more from you. :-)