Friday, August 8, 2014

Eats: Sort-Of Granola

Hello! I like to add granola to my breakfast yogurt, but I don't like the brands out there that charge high prices for little bags of the stuff. Consequently, I make my own - easy to do. 

Basically, granola is made up of oatmeal tossed with a bunch of other ingredients. I've tried several recipes by now, including one that calls for peanut butter and one that's made in the slow cooker. 

But I recently came across one that was a little different from my other granola recipes. For one thing, it uses orange juice concentrate as part of the "wet" ingredients. It also uses Cheerios and Golden Grahams as part of the "dry" ingredients. The use of those cereals is why I think of it as a "sort-of" granola, although it calls for the usual oatmeal as well. But in the cookbook that the recipe comes from, it's simply called "Toasted Granola".

Here's the recipe:

Toasted Granola (from a volume in Leisure Arts' Spirit Of Christmas series)

4 cups Cheerios
4 cups Golden Grahams
3 3/4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
6 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed
3 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 300. In greased large roasting pan, combine cereals, oats, sunflower seeds and almonds. 

In small bowl, combine brown sugar, oil, orange juice and honey. Stir until well-blended. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until well-coated.

Bake 45 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. 

Spread on waxed paper to cool. Yield: 14 cups granola. 

Notes: feel free to use store brands of the cereals; I did. I don't care for sunflower seeds, and I didn't have slivered almonds on hand, so instead I used a cup each of chopped raw pecans and chopped raw walnuts. The recipe didn't list any other add-ins like raw coconut or dried fruits, but I'm sure these ingredients could be included to taste.

Here's what the granola looks like:

As for the taste: wasn't sure how the orange juice concentrate would taste in this recipe, but it's fine. It's not really noticeable. 

The granola is rather sweet though. The sweetness can be reduced in a few ways: cut back on the brown sugar, or reduce the amount of Golden Grahams, as it's a rather sweet cereal. One could just increase the amount of Cheerios or oatmeal instead (if doing the latter, more liquid may have to be added, as the oatmeal flakes would likely absorb more of the wet ingredients than the Golden Grahams would). 

Or, experiment with another kind of dry cereal, like Chex. This would make the granola much less sweet, I'm sure, but the overall texture of the granola would stay similar. I have to admit, though, that I kind of like Golden Grahams, as sweet as they are!

It's a fun take on traditional granola - more variety of textures with the different cereals added. It may be a "sort-of" granola, but it's a good one!

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