Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Granola Two Ways

( Martha Stewart granola, cooling )

Margot and I are constantly looking for recipes that can replace store bought prepared foods. While there are granolas you can buy from the store that are made with all natural ingredients and offer the high fiber and low fat that make granola a healthy breakfast or snack, not all granolas are created equal!

Making granola is very easy. Once you have tried it you will likely never want to buy granola again! For this this post we picked two different recipes with slightly different ingredients to make at home.

My mother made me a batch of granola as part of a Christmas gift. She used a recipe from Martha Stewart magazine. I thought we would start with that which harnesses maple, a friendly New England flavor.

We made a half batch of the original recipe with a slightly different mix of nuts.

1 ¾ cup rolled oats
1/8 cup chopped pecans
1/8 cup whole almonds
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla

The walnuts will burn if allowed to cook too long. Keep the mix agitated to avoid this.

The resulting granola was quite similar to the gift I received although I felt ours was a bit understated in comparison. I’ll have to ask my mom if she veered off the recipe somewhere. This granola is light in body. The sweet maple flavor intersects with enough salt to keep things balanced.

( ready for the mix! )

For our second recipe we pick the Easy Homemade Granola from the Amateur Gourmet blog. This recipe uses honey and brown sugar instead of maple syrup and adds dried fruit for some extra flavor and texture.

We made the full sized recipe. We used different nuts and fruits and altered the process just a bit.

2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Mix oats, cinnamon and salt together in one bowl. Whisk oil, honey, sugar and vanilla together in microwave safe bowl. Heat the wet mixture in microwave for 30 seconds. Pour wet over dry. Mix well.

Spread on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Mix after 15 minutes, add nuts and finish cooking. Allow to cool. Mix in fruit.

( how can you not want this? )

Margot and I both believe this is some of the best (Margot has said best ever several times) granola we have ever had. This is definitely a lot sweeter than the first recipe and the addition of the fruit definitely bumps of the texture. I am sure if we continue experimenting with granola we might find some additional secrets, but I would have a hard time not returning to this recipe as the basis for anything else I tried!

( ready to eat! )

I got a tweet, not long after I mentioned I was making granola, asking what the best wine pairing was with granola. I hadn’t thought about it but you can’t ask me such a question and not expect an experiment to happen! Cabernet Franc Ice Wine was my answer. The flavors between it and granola number two were in real harmony. It wouldn’t be something I would do often, but it sure was fun!




Tiffany said...

Oh! Both ways look great!

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

I love making granola and other snacks at home. One way I like to make it is by tossing the oats in a bit of apple juice.

Cakewalker said...

Fabulous, healthy looking cereal or snack!

Kori said...

Yum! I love making homemade granola too! It's fun to play around with the nuts, the fruits and the sweetener. I also like to leave out fruit sometimes, and then add fresh fruit to my yogurt/milk when I eat it, but I love dried fruit too...especially dried cherries, apples, dates and raisins. Looks like yours is delicious...I'll have to try it one of these days too!

Kate @ Diethood.com said...

Yum! That bowl looks chewy, crunchy, and scrumptious ...the way a granola should be!

I also enjoy making my own stuff from scratch, and that includes granola.

Scarletta @ Scarletta Bakes said...

I love this post - I really enjoyed the comparison between the two recipes. They both look delicious! Thanks!

Unknown said...

I love granola! I love it...I love it!!!
Wait I almost forgot..I LOVE GRANOLA!!!

Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet said...

I have long wanted to make my own granola - now I have two great recipes. Each morning I typically take a greek yogurt and either granola or grapenuts to put on top for breakfast. Now I have not excuse to make my own - perhaps this weekend.

Tastemonials said...

I've made one similar to the second recipe and the big problem is that it is so good I ate 10 times more than I would of store-bought granola. So much for healthier and fewer calories!

Tastemonials said...

I made the second granola recipe and mentioned it in my World Nutella Day post. I also suggested that readers check out and maybe support your Relay for Life. Good luck on your fund raising.