01 July 2010

Holy Grail Granola

granola

So I've been on a bit of a granola kick. I don't enjoy a steaming hot bowl of oats during the summer (when it's hot), especially after running, and since I have been lackluster when it comes to breakfast ideas (waffles everyday is a fun idea that I get sick of) my best option is to bake a batch of granola that'll last me for long enough to not have to think about breakfast until it's gone.

And this is it. The best granola of 2010. I finally bought the proper ingredients and I mixed this and that together to come up with a granola that turned out exactly how I wanted. Granola clusters mixed with two nuts and one seed, plus some dried cranberries. All this is coated with a sweet honey-brown sugar mixture that transforms the mixture from dried to candied. Yeah, definitely not the healthiest granola on the block, but that wasn't my aim.

granola

What I did differently with this recipe was make a sugared coating with the pecans, pepita seeds, and almonds consisting of a lightly beaten egg white, and sugar mixed with grated orange zest. I debated between baking it separately and mixing it into the oat mixture after it baked, but I wanted everything to be combined so I added the nuts to the oats after I mixed the oats with the oil, honey, brown sugar, and salt. I chose not to use orange juice in the syrup because it makes the oats soggy and requires longer baking time to dry out. I also used a mixture of whole oats and quick oats since I read that the quick oats makes better clumps.

Oh yeah. Whilst heating the syrup up in a saucepan I started thinking of caramel corn, and how you add baking soda to the caramel syrup after it reaches the correct temperature. I don't know why, but perhaps it aids in a harder coating without soggifying the popcorn. I decided to add a bit, about a 1/4 teaspoon, just for the sake of experimentation. Although I'm not sure if it helped, the consistency of the finished granola turned out exactly how I wanted and in the future I will not leave out the baking soda.

granola

Because I finally made a successful granola recipe, I'm naming this "Holy Grail Granola", because it's entirely worthy of such a name. The oaty clusters are delicious with the dried cranberries, and it's still not so sweet that I'd only want to eat it with ice cream. This remains my favorite summer breakfast with fresh fruit and protein powder mixed into the milk.

Recipe after the jump.




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Holy Grail Granola
Recipe by Christina Provo

Makes a ton

ingredients ~

3 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup raw pepita seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 eggs white
1/4 cup granulated sugar
grated zest of two oranges
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butte
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounce bag dried, sweetened cranberries

directions ~
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Mix oats and wheat bran together in a large bowl. Whisk egg white in a medium bowl until just frothy, then stir in pecans, pepita seeds, and almonds to coat. Mix sugar together with orange zest in a small bowl, pressing with a fork to release oils and tint the sugar. Sprinkle over nuts-egg white mixture and stir to coat thoroughly; set aside.

  2. Place oil, honey, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, heat until brown sugar has dissolved and butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Stir in baking soda and whisk until completely mixed (it will resemble liquidy brain matter until it blends together to form a tan, foamy mixture).

  3. Pour over oats and stir until evenly saturated with oil-sugar syrup. Stir in nut mixture until mixed. Spread on baking sheet and place in oven. Lower heat to 325ª and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Lower oven to 300ª and cook for another 15 minutes until a deep golden brown. Remove from heat and place baking sheet on cooling rack. Stir once more, then let cool completely. Once cooled, break up granola, leaving many small clumps, and mix with dried cranberries. Store in a covered container or a zip-loc bag.


3 comments:

  1. ohhh, this granola DOES look like a real winner! love the flavor combos. and that is interesting about the baking soda - it would be neat to compare with and without, jsut to see if it does make a difference!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like making granola, though I have never succeeded in making good clusters. I should try your recipe because it looks like you have it down to a science!

    ReplyDelete
  3. oh yum! I could go for some of this right now!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^

~Christina

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