Friday, August 12, 2011

Homemade Cereal


This blog post is all about my favorite meal (no, not dessert): breakfast. I could eat breakfast all day.  I love diners that serve eggs and pancakes all day, I consistently eat quiche or frittata or similar items for dinner during the week. But, for normal breakfast I normally have cereal because I'm in a rush. Plus, eating eggs or pancakes for breakfast every day can become a little much. My favorites are Kashi or good old-fashioned Cheerios, but I also indulge in a good granola sometimes. I am fairly picky about my granolas, though, too sweet, too bland, too many nuts, so it is difficult to find one that I can eat time and time again. This granola solved that problem.

I found this recipe on Orangette (which if you haven't read, you must start). Or, you could check out Molly's book A Homemade Life or her occasional columns in Bon Appetit magazine. In other words, read what she writes somewhere because not only does she have great recipes, but also great writing.

Back to granola. This recipe is perfect: not too sweet, not too nutty, not too soft, perfect amount of crunch and clusters and best of all--endlessly adaptable to suit your needs. This time around, I followed the recipe almost exactly (with one substitution), but I think next time I will make some more additions/subtractions. For this batch, I substituted maple syrup (Grade A) for the brown rice syrup because I couldn't find it on my trip to the grocery store and didn't feel like making a zillion stops. The substitution is 3/4 cup + 2 T/1 cup brown rice syrup. Next time, I think I will cut down on the amount of nuts and also add some dried fruit (cranberries, raisins) after cooking. Otherwise, I like it the way it is.

Granola


Dry Ingredients:
5 cups rolled oats
2-3 cups raw almonds or raw pecans halves (or less if you like)
1 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds
¾ c sesame seeds
¾ cup brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. salt

Wet Ingredients:
¾ c. unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 c. brown rice syrup (or ¼ c. maple syrup + approx. 2 t.)
¼ c. honey
2 T. veg. oil

Preheat oven to 300 F and put two silpats on two cookie sheets (or use parchment).

Mix together all of the dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix together all of the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread the mixture over the cookie sheets. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Every ten minutes, stir the mix and rotate your sheets so that the granola is evenly cooked. This granola should be stored in air-tight containers in the refrigerator.


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