A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Best Granola Ever" - as requested!

My friend Natalie just completed her tenth 1/2 Marathon on Sunday.
Amazing? YES. Double YES. She is inspiring ... maybe I can do one someday!
To congratulate, I made her some granola.
Yup. Cooking/Baking for others is totally a love language of mine.
I love to do it!
And she loves granola, healthy foods, and trying new things!

I was extremely happy with how this batch came out. Probably one of my favorites ... and when she took it home and her husband tasted it? I earned the honor (for however long or short lived) of it being the "best granola ever". Thank goodness Natalie still loves me - even if Colin loved the granola. Fear not, she requested the recipe to be posted so that she, too, can whip some up.

Crumbly, Crunchy, and YUMMY Granola!

2 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. shredded coconut
1/4 c. margarine or butter, or something of the sort
2/3 c. honey
2 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. coarse salt
2 - 3 c. nuts - any variety, any mixture - whatever you like!
1 - 1 1/2 c. dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, etc.)

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast oats and coconut - stirring frequently - until golden brown and fragrant. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Boil 1 min. Remove from heat and set aside. Combine oat mixture, nuts, and dried fruit in a large bowl. Stir in wet mixture and combine well. Press mixture into a parchment paper or foil (sprayed w/ cooking spray) lined 9x13 pan. Bake close to 25 min or until golden brown on top. Let cool completely. Lift out, and crumble into preferred container - attempting to not eat all at once!

This granola has a really good salty taste that has the dried fruit giving sweetness for balance. I adapted it from a granola bar recipe. To work it into bars, decrease the dried ingredients some. I usually cut the recipe in half and bake it in an 8x8 pan. And really, it's pretty darn healthly. For an entire 9x13 pan, we're talking only 4 T. of butter/margarine, no oil, and LOTS of grains and fruits. In the last two batches I have made ... I used a mixture of nuts: sunflower, pine, peanuts, and walnuts - and raisins for my dried fruit. The great thing is: granola can be adapted to suit any flavor taste or combination you want to put together.

Sorry, no pics of this one yet ... but next I make some, I'll add one!