Sunday, May 27, 2012
Growing up in a small town in Washington, I was a country girl, low maintenance, no make-up and some even called me "Granola Girl." Then, I'd just smile and considered the comment for being 'earthy' or 'natural.' Today, I reflect back and seem to appreciate it even more.
Enough of history for now...making homemade granola IS SO EASY!!! and it makes the house smell amazing. About a year ago, I discovered some fun granola made through a Co-op here but then when I looked at the price, it was $10 for 2lbs....ummmm whoa! Then I saw on Food Network, the Neeley's were making their own. (Love the rest stops) So I ventured to make my own. I couldn't keep it stocked as my husband was devouring it as fast as I could make it. Back then he was very ill & he wouldn't eat much so I thought it was a good thing that he had found something he liked. Today I know that the oils used are extremely important and canola oil (what the Neeley's used) is no longer in my pantry. For high temps, I use coconut oil or almond oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil goes rancid after it hits around 170'F so I mainly use that for salads, etc.
Okay so this granola was inspired by Fake Ginger BUT I substituted the infamous coconut oil for the vegetable oil. (I like to think of our hearts getting healthy fats instead of artery clogging fats these days.) I did NOT stick to her recipe completely as I added dried apricots, dried cherries, dried coconut and craisins. I used pecans, almonds and chia seeds but omitted sunflower and sesame seeds. Sometimes I have personally found that sunflower seeds can overpower a recipe. The added applesauce was a twist that I had never thought of for added sweetness. I also substituted in sucanat for the brown sugar. I apologize for the sticklers on measuring; I didn't really measure much here. It seems more free-spirited that way AND it still turns out amazing!
So returning to my roots, earthy and natural that is, this one's for you. A little salty, a little sweet and a whole 'lotta' natural! Spread those pantry doors open wide, dive in and mix it up! I promise being "granola" is a fun journey.