Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Bowla Granola

I've always been a big fan of breakfast.
I love the way this morning meal is so interpretive depending on the region. In England, I ate massive fry-ups; fried bread, sausage, eggs. In France, I devoured pain au chocolat and fruit and yogurt. In Belgium, I feasted on fresh bread with meat and cheese, and a bowl of muesli. And here, at home in Canada, the breakfast menu replays itself over and over: eggs and toast, a big bowl of cereal, pancakes and waffles made from scratch or of course, my favourite: yogurt and granola. The marriage of creamy, sweet and crunchy. Oh my. I'm drooling a little.

I've made several different kinds of granola, and each time I felt something was amiss because I'd attempted to make it less calorie-dense, more virtuous. And the truth is, while I'm happy to cut down on some of the sweetness, I kind of feel like granola needs a minimum amount of oil and honey to hold it together, to give it that nudge into something extraordinary.

I found this recipe on one of my favourite sites, Eat Make Read. I made a few modifications from the original because this is what I do, but feel free to make your own adjustments. Granola recipes are sort of like starting points, don't you think?

Baked Granola

2 cups rolled oats (I use the quick cooking, organic kind)
1 cup Rice Krispies
1 cup All Bran original
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp fancy molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
a handfull of raisins
a handful of dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 325
°F. In large bowl combine the oats, Rice Krispies and All Bran. Add the salt, cinnamon and brown sugar and mix.

2. In a small bowl, mix the vegetable oil, honey, molasses and vanilla and whisk till combined. Pour into the large bowl and stir till all the cereal seems to be coated. Spread out onto baking sheet or roasting pan.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 10 minutes, stir again. Then add the nuts and dried fruit and bake for an additional 5 minutes, checking on it to make sure it doesn't burn. When it's done, allow it to cool completely, then put in an airtight container and enjoy!

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