Sunday, October 10, 2010

Homemade Granola with Dried Cranberries and Cinnamon

There are two types of people in the world - granola heads and non granola heads. I am a card carrying member of the granola heads (though not in the hippie sense of the word as I shower daily and shave my armpits most of those days, thank you.)

Fellow granola heads know what I mean. We crave this crunchy, lightly sweet rubble the way others crave brownies or ice cream and we can tell you who has the best in our hometowns or even in other cities (Urth Caffe in LA, Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, and Joe's Coffee in Austin.)

As a granola head, the biggest insult in the world is to go to breakfast somewhere anticipating a bowl of crunchy homemade granola and fresh fruit only to be served a broken up, store bought granola bar with a limp bunch of greenish gray grapes next to it (Cafeteria in NYC...for shame.) This is like being slapped in the face with a wet fish before you've even had your coffee. Of course even minor personal offenses take on catastraphoic proportion in the vulnerable pre-coffee time of morning but you get my drift.

Now that I know how easy granola is to make at home, I can rest easy. This may not be the most impressive recipe I've ever made but as a granola head, it may be my most treasured.

Homemade Granola with Dried Cranberries and Cinnamon
Adapted from Everyday Foods

3 cups quick (rolled) oats
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup honey
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
3/4 cup walnuts or pecan pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
scant 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
couple gratings of fresh nutmeg, or a dash from a bottle of dried
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
non stick spray

Preheat oven to 300. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the oats, butter, honey, sesame seeds, nuts, and dried fruit with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle over the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and mix again until well combined.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment and spray lightly with non stick spray. Carefully spread out the granola mixture letting it go to the corners to make a nice level layer and patting down any mounds or lumps for even baking.

Bake for 20 minutes and check for color. I like mine to become a little more bronze/toasted than most granolas but a light golden is what most consider ideal. I keep mine in for half an hour, but this is very individual and ovens vary so check every few minutes after the 20 minute mark up to 30 minutes. Once evenly golden, remove and turn the granola over gently with a spatula. Leave to completely cool in the pan (about an hour or so) and once cool transfer to a large ziploc or air tight container where it should keep for up to 3 weeks.

Serve with yogurt and honey, with milk as cereal, or even as a crumbly topping for baked fruit (just bake the fruit before adding granola over as it is already baked and will burn if cooked more.)


Jennifurla said...

LOL this whole post made me laugh, thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

I've never made homemade granola...didn't know it was so easy either. Thanks for the recipe...sounds great!

Angie's Recipes said...

Well, not all the storebought granola are bad...but if you happen to be so LUCKY to have some before having a cup of quality coffee, then it's bad, very bad. :-) I don't know about feeling being slapped with a wet fish, but I got what you meant. Thanks for sharing the granola recipe!

Design Wine and Dine said...

Thanks for this recipe! I always want to make granola at home but I think get held up b/c I don't have one tried and true recipe...

This looks and sounds delicious!

Jenn said...

Alisa, you crack me up!! I HATE it when I get slapped in the face with a wet fish...especially before I've had my coffee!!
The granola looks wonderful...I have yet to make my own...looks like I've found the recipe that will get me try it though!!

Pam said...

I love homemade granola - yours looks tasty.

Sadie said...

have been making this granola recipe for over a year now and am finally getting to writing a review...WONDERFUL!!!

Jen said...

This made me laugh because my husband calls me a granola head, but like you I shower daily. I'm always trying new granola recipes looking for one that sticks together in clumps. I'll have to give this a try. My son will be happy because there's no coconut. I told him all granola has coconut. I guess I was wrong.

newlywed said...

Lol, I'm a showering granola head too, but have never made it on my own. Yours looks great!