V chomps his way through so much granola that it would be criminal to buy the expensive packaged stuff. I started off with a fairly typical recipe years ago, and then discovered this oil-free recipe. We thought the oil-free version was so much crunchier and tastier than the other recipe- how often does that happen, right? I have recipes for chocolate granola, applesauce granola and peanut butter granola in my bookmarks folder, but this is the only one I make over and over again.
I wanted to note down my standardized version here for future reference. I photographed it right on my beat-up, blackened-with-use, much-loved sheet pan.
1. Preheat oven to 325 F and lightly grease a full sheet pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix
- 3 heaped cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 heaped cup chopped nuts (walnuts/cashews/pistachios/almonds/pecans)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
3. In a glass measuring cup, mix
- scant ¼ cup sugar
- dollop of molasses
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. water
Microwave for 30-50 seconds (keep an eye on it!) until the sugar dissolves into a syrup. Remove the syrup and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla extract (it might splatter so be very careful).
4. Add the sugar syrup to the oats/nuts mixture and stir well to coat them uniformly.
5. Spread the mixture on the sheet pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring 2-3 times in between.
6. Once the pan is out of the oven, immediately stir
- handful of dried berries
- handful of chopped candied orange peel
- 3 tbsp. wheat germ
- 1 cup store-bought cereal (I use honey nut O's...this addition of cereal is optional. I like it for the added crunch and texture).
7. Let the granola cool completely before storing it at room temperature in an airtight container.
Serve with cold milk in summer and warm milk in winter. I prefer drowning granola in chocolate almond milk myself.
By the way, the vegetable from the last post is called Zephyr Squash- it is a hybrid.
Garden Dreamer guessed it right! To everyone who played along, thank you.
As promised, an update on Dale- here you see him sitting in the back seat of our car, catching his breath, heading back home after a long Sunday evening walk in Forest Park.
With Dale, everything is a journey and a process. When we first got him home, he was traumatized by his neglect and abuse of his early life and terrified of anything new. Getting him into a car so we could take him places was an ordeal that involved kicking (from him), screaming (from me) and scratches all around- I'm trying to erase those episodes from my memory. Today, Dale is a changed dog. Now it has gotten to the point where he runs to the car and wants to be driven everywhere. He lords it over the back seat and sticks his head out of the window, ears flapping madly in the wind. Pets teach us so much, and Dale has definitely given us an important life lesson: sometimes, you need to give someone time and patience and after second, third, fourth chances, they will come around. Just because you are afraid of something at first does not mean you have to fear it forever.
If you are a dog lover, you simply have to read Dana Jennings' essay in the NYT about lessons from the family dog. But beware, his essays are so touching and beautifully written that you might start weeping helplessly wherever you are.
The book right on top of the pile (29 gifts) is interesting in concept; the writing is just so-so. It is the story of a woman recovering from a debilitating illness whose spiritual adviser gives her an unusual "prescription" that comes from an African tradition. She is to give away a gift every day for 29 days with intention and thoughtfulness in order to see changes in her own life. This is a challenge I'd love to take on one of these days.
See you in a few!