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Homemade granola September 16, 2009

Posted by sugarandbliss in breakfast.
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Have I mentioned that I love oatmeal? And granola? And granola bars? Let’s just say I take well to anything that involves oats. Streusel toppings and crisps included. I find the nutty flavor and chewy texture of oats very appealing and comforting, especially with a dash of cinnamon added.

I’ve been wanting to make some homemade granola ever since I ran out of the stash I bought from the market a couple weeks ago. What with the constant invasion of ants, however, I’ve been avoiding the kitchen for the past week. So I took advantage of the temporarily spotless countertops and threw this granola together. It was quick, required a minimal amount of bowls, and didn’t involve any steps where I would have been likely to spill flour and sugar everywhere.

The resulting clusters of oats were delicious! Nicely crispy and chewy at the same time, sweet, cinnamon-y and healthy. But that healthy isn’t going to be any good if I continue to eat it the way I have been ever since it came out of the oven. That is, constantly.

Homemade Granola
adapted from Think Inside The Icebox

This goes great with vanilla yogurt and some fruit. One of my favorite combinations is mixing granola with honey nut Cheerios and milk. Feel free to add in your favorite ingredients! I don’t have raisins or cranberries in my granola because I don’t particularly like dried fruits. But that’s the glory of homemade granola – it’s customizable! (and cheap)

3 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toast the almonds in a large pan over medium heat, stirring constantly for about five minutes, or until golden and aromatic. In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and toasted almonds.

In a small saucepan, combine applesauce and honey. Heat until the mixture is thinned, about two minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour the liquid over the dry mixture, stirring with a spatula until well coated. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 30 minutes. (Less time for softer, chewier granola and more for drier, crispier granola)

When cool enough to handle, stir lightly to break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.