Sunday, November 9, 2014

Autumn Harvest Granola

Granola is always in my pantry because it's a quick go-to breakfast or snack for us here at home.  I've shown you one of my favorite recipes before and have since altered it here and there over the months, from batch to batch.  For the Fall season I decided to add a bit of spice and expand on the dried fruits & nuts in order to make it even more tasty.  Autumn seems to herald in all of those sweet combinations that suggest warmth & spicy aromas, so what better way to capture it than with some delicious granola?


You have to understand that I make a large batch of this so that it can be packaged up and parceled out to people in the neighborhood, but one can always cut the recipe in half if need be.  I like to keep some in one of my vintage Ball jars so that during the week I can have a light breakfast with my yogurt & banana, but I also love to have it in the afternoons when I want a boost of energy.  


Packed with oats, wheat germ, a few types of seeds, some nuts & dried fruit, my Autumn Harvest recipe is going to be a hit with you if you like homemade granola that doesn't have a lot of additives.  Gather your ingredients from a reliable source and mix everything together over the weekend.  You're going to find this a very wonderful addition to your pantry.

Enjoy!


The Ingredients
  • 6 cups {600 g.} old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups {140 g.} wheat germ or oat bran
  • 1 cup {115 g.} raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup {110 g.} sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup {100 g.} chopped pecans
  • 2 cups {175 g.} sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups {227 g.} dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, apricots)
  • 1/2 cup {85 g.} chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 1/4 cups {300 ml.} pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups {300 ml.} canola oil
  • 3 tsp. {15 ml.} ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. {5 ml.} ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. { 1.25 ml.} ground cloves

Yield: approximately 16 cups granola

Equipment: 4 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpats & 1 extra large bowl.




Center oven racks
Preheat to 350° F (177°C)

1.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped pecans, flaked coconut, crystallized ginger, and dried fruits.  Add the maple syrup.

2.  In a measuring cup, add the spices to the canola oil and whisk to combine thoroughly.  Add to the granola ingredients and toss to combine well.  Everything should be moistened.

3.  Spread the granola between 4 prepared baking sheets.  Bake granola for approximately 15-20 minutes, just until the mixture is getting brown.  Don't let it burn, especially around the edges.

4.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet until it has hardened.  Break up the granola once it has cooled and package it up or store the mixture in an airtight container. 
When I break up the granola I fill a large bowl to make it easy for portioning.  With a measuring scoop I can divvy up the granola into bags or jars.

This is what I consider a good breakfast.  In addition to a banana and a cup of espresso (or two), some granola mixed with nonfat yogurt gets me through the morning without feeling empty.  Make it a habit to have your own homemade granola in the pantry and I guarantee you will never buy some from the store ever again.  It's that good!



All packaged up and ready to head out the door, bags of granola are good treats to hand out to those who love it.  If your nice enough to want to do it, type out the recipe for them to try at home or simply make more to hand out in the future.  It's a great gift for the holidays, but it's also good to have any time of  year.  I hope you make some.

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