Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homemade Granola has the flavor of love

Over the weekend, I was talking with Mom and something she said brought me back to when I last lived with her and Charlie between school and jobs and traveling and such.

You see, the weekend before they were in our neck of the woods and decided to stop by PCC, where Mom picked up some seeds to make sprouts with. This weekend they were finally ready to eat, and now she just can't get enough of them. She kept going on and on about how delicious they are and how she's never had sprouts this good before, on her chicken salad sandwich, on salads, etc. Then I ruined her party by reminding her that we used to eat them all the time when I lived with her.

OK, she admitted that she simply forgot, and really, it's something we all do. Potsticker phases are a regular occurrence in our household, where for months we eat them nearly every weekend as a midnight snack, then they disappear for an equally long amount of time. This weekend I was struck with a popcorn phase, and the scent of fake butter still lingers in the microwave.

And the last couple of weeks I've been in a granola phase, something Mom got me into when I last was living with them, too. This time, though, I'm following her advice a little more closely and actually making my own. I'm not sure if it's any more healthy, but it's nice to know exactly what is in my granola, and that theoretically I could calculate the fat content.

So far, I've just used what I happen to have in my pantry, which has been equal parts raw pumpkin seeds, raw sunflower seeds and slivered almonds for the nuts, and 1/2 c. each of dried Bing cherries and dried blueberries for the fruit (raisin hater alert). And even though that combination is pure heaven as far as I'm concerned, I will broadening my granola horizons in the future.

Mai Ling's Granola
3 c. rolled oats
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 c. dried fruit
1-1/2 c. nuts
1/3 c. canola oil
1/3 c. honey
1/2 c. brown sugar

Spread nonstick aluminum foil over a jelly roll pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix oats, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl, then add dried fruit and nuts of your choice.

Meanwhile, heat the oil, honey and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir frequently. Bring mixture to a boil, and continue boiling for about 5 minutes, until it's bubbling and well-mixed.

Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients in increments, mixing well between additions.

Spread mixture over the prepared jelly roll pan and cook for 10-20 minutes in preheated oven. Stir once or twice to brown the granola evenly.

After removing it from the oven, stir it a couple of times while it cools to prevent it from keeping the shape of the pan.

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