Thursday, June 16, 2011

Granola Recipe

this is my new favorite breakfast: homemade granola with fresh strawberries, drowned in vanilla or honey greek yogurt. I usually eat breakfast around 6am after nursing Mister Man and once the morning rush starts I don't always have time for a snack (and for those of you who know me well, you know this is NOT a good thing), but when I eat this yummy granola with fruit and strawberries, I can almost make it to noon still feeling like a human.

Recipe is my own (which means, as with all my recipes, the quantities are guidelines and not exact), but heavily influenced by the "Flat Belly Diet! Cookbook" and "Cheap & Easy: A cookbook for girls on the go" by Sandra Bark and Alexis Kanfer.

2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
1/4 cup wheat germ (can also use ground flax seed)
one very ripe banana, mashed, or 1/3 cup apple juice
a couple tablespoons of brown sugar + equal amount water (and/or maple syrup. the real stuff)
a shake of dried ginger
a lot of shakes of cinnamon (i love cinnamon. adjust to your taste)

stir all the above ingredients together. everything should be moist, but not soaked. if it looks a little dry, add more apple juice or water, a tablespoon at a time. if it looks too wet, stir in more oats.

Little Miss keeping an eye on the granola as it bakes

spread in an even layer on a baking sheet (rimmed if you have it. I don't, but I wish I did.) and stick it in a 300-degree oven for 30-60 minutes. If you used the banana, definitely shoot for the longer end of that range. It's done when you can smell it throughout your whole house. yum.

banana and walnuts and cinnamon ... oh my!

let it cool on the sheet then transfer to an airtight container. at this time, stir in 1 1/3 cups of dried fruit. I like 1 cup dried apples, chopped and 1/3 cup dried cranberries. the granola will keep for a week on the counter, or according to Sandra and Alexis, you could keep it in the fridge, but I feel like it would get soggy. However, I haven't tried it, so if you do, and your granola retains the crunch, let me know!

to serve with a 6 ounce cup of yogurt, I find that 3/4 cup of prepared granola and an equal amount of fruit is a good ratio. but do what you like.

I would love to hear about your variations to this recipe! different dried fruit or spices? part of me wants to make this with chili powder instead of ginger for a more savory approach, but then would it go well with fruit?

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