Granola, not a recipe.

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Okay, so you’re thrown off by the title, right?  Well, technically, this is a post about a certain way to make granola but it’s more flexible than a recipe.  I like to call it a ‘Guideline’.

I’m the person who finds a recipe and has to tweak it.  I can’t help it.  Always adding or subtracting at will.  It’s not always  my initial intention, but either I get inspired or I am half way through a recipe to find out… “crap, buttermilk… I don’t have any buttermilk! oh well, I’ll use (insert any other ingredient in my fridge/ pantry) instead”.  Over the years of cooking this way, I’ve learned that instead of a “recipe”, I prefer more of a “guideline” (which really means, I make it up as I go… shh, don’t tell anyone)

Granola is the perfect example of a guideline at it’s finest.  Most recipes I’ve come across list out tons of ingredients I just don’t have in my pantry.  Sure, sometimes I love to run to the grocery store, list in hand, ready to experiment with ingredients I don’t normally purchase but our budget doesn’t always allow for this luxury.  And the guideline allows you to personalize the flavors each time without worrying if your portions are correct.

Since I’ve had a hankering for some yummy, crispy granola, and most shelf brands contain too much sugar for this hypo-girl (I promise my hypo story is coming soon), I’ve finally decided to tear apart several granola recipes, and create my own “guideline”.

Without further ado, here is my nola…


Set your oven @ 300 degrees F, dump your dry goodies into a pan and crisp away! This takes around 8 minutes or so.  Stir your dry goodies halfway through the ‘crisping’ process (very technical term here, people).

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Then, melt away all your wet ingredients until the sugar & salt have dissolved.  This takes around 5 minutes at medium heat.

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Until it looks like so.

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Then add your chopped fruits (don’t they look so perty!), dry goodies, and wet ingredients until thoroughly combined.

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Then, proceed to make a very large mess in your kitchen like so. Yes, that’s breakfast, from this morning and ingredients for dinner later tonight… It’s okay, when the dogs awaken from their beauty sleep they will help with the dishes (I wish!).

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Spread the sticky lovelies onto your favorite baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  The larger the better so that the mixture can spread thin, allowing it to toast up nicely.

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Then place your pan back in the oven.  After 10 minutes, take out the mixture and stir.  Place back in the oven for another 7 minutes or so, until it lightly browns… but not this brown, whoops!

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Much better!

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Don’t worry, when you take your nola out of the oven it will still be chewy. Let the mixture fully cool for 30 minutes to an hour and it will crisp up nicely.  Then store in your favorite pasta sauce jar!  I just love free pantry storage! (psst.. want a trick to remove the pasta sauce smell…. clean your jar first, then put out in the sun for 24-48 hours, smells clean as new!)

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Now pair with your favorite milk (I served mine with almond milk) and enjoy! My favorite way to enjoy is crumbled on top of chopped bananas swimming in almond milk! Yum!  It’s also the great on top of smoothies & yogurt!

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Granola, the ‘Guideline’:

Mix together the dry ingredients, then lightly toast for 8 minutes @ 300 degrees F, stirring halfway through:

  • 1-1/2 cups Oats (rolled oats shown)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Nuts (1/4c. pecans + 1/4c. almonds shown)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Dried Fruit (mix of raisins +dried pineapple + dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup Seeds (1/8 cup raw sunflower seeds + 1/8 cup raw pumpkin seeds shown)
  • 3 tbsp. Dry Add-ins (optional) (2 tbsp. chia seeds + 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds shown)

Stir together the wet ingredients over medium heat until dissolved (about 5 minutes):

  • 2 tbsp. Nut Butter (homemade peanut butter shown)
  • 1 tbsp. Oil or Butter (Coconut oil shown)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt (Kosher shown)
  • 1 tbsp. Honey or Syrup (Local honey shown)
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar (Dark Brown Sugar shown)
  • (optional) Pinch of other flavors: cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin spice, etc.

Then, mix dry + wet ingredients until well blended.  Spread thin layer in a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes @ 300 degrees F.  Stir and bake another 7 minutes until lightly brown.  Allow to fully cool in baking sheet for 10-20 minutes.  Then enjoy right away or store in a cool dry place. Should last a month or so (if it isn’t eaten before then).

Enjoy!

-Lauren

a little more about me…

so when I’m not working, cooking, cleaning, working out, or visiting with family & friends, this is what I do. I craft.  Is there a t-shirt for that? I’m a glutton for spending time tinkering with scrap material & glue.  I’ll craft anything.  It’s my thang.  So, here’s two examples of my crazy hobby.

Yes , those are made out of paper. Yes, I know I could have easily bought a standard i-phone/ business card holder or standard pencil cup but where’s the fun in that?  I guess this is what a Lego builder child grows up to be… the person who builds everyday objects out of scrap material.  Guilty.

 

I promise I will post a recipe soon.. cross my fingers, pinky swear, etc. etc.