Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Breakfast Done Right

In our efforts to eat well, I am constantly replacing store bought items with things I can make at home. This route always ends up being tastier and cheaper and doesn't require a lot of extra work. I have some good recipes to share with you and I guarantee they will replace some of the items you purchase most at the grocery store. Today we're talking granola.

Our granola jar is pictured above. It's typically rattling empty because I can't keep up with making enough batches to keep it full. This granola recipe is the best. The best. And I'm going to keep this short and sweet so you can put your computer away and go make a batch.

I've made at least ten granola recipes in my search for the best one and I think I can finally rest easy with this recipe. Some recipes require way more ingredients than the average person keeps on hand. Others require such vast quantities of oil and sweeteners that they can't possibly be better for you than any store bought brand. This recipe is perfect because it is a bare bones foundation on which you can build your own perfect granola. It also only includes a teensy bit of oil and good for you natural sweeteners. And the best part? It's easy to keep your pantry stocked with the ingredients so you can bake up a batch at a moment's notice.

NOTE: I usually make a double batch and spread it on two pans to bake. I find it's easiest to throw this together before I start preparing dinner. Then I can easily stir it while I'm in the kitchen making dinner. My favorite way to eat this? In a bowl with a bit of Greek-style yogurt or milk*, a spoonful of ground flaxseed, and a handful of frozen blueberries. Now go to it!

Everyday Granola
Adapted from Bon Appetit

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (or almonds or walnuts)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar) (tip: spray your measuring cup with cooking spray before you measure and the honey will slide right out)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup assorted dried fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 300. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir honey and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; toss. Spread on prepared sheet. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, for about 30 to 40 minutes. Place sheet on rack. Stir granola; cool. Mix in fruit.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight.

*Chicago readers: I swear, when you eat this with milk, it tastes nearly identical to the famous and delicious oatmeal shakes at Irazu. I swear. It's the best.

1 comment:

Molly Kathleen Riley said...

Thank you for this, Myndi. I just got back into a granola-making phase, and was in need of a less sweet and less oily recipe. Once my jar is empty, this is on my to-do list :) Miss you!