Every so often I get a hankerin’ for real, home made granola. Occasionally, this feeling happens to coincide with not only my possession of the required ingredients, but also the will to actually do it.
It’s really not hard to do, and soooooo rewarding. I tells ya, short of perhaps buying the $8/100g bag gourmet small batch stuff (and I can’t even speak for it, as I have never purchased it myself), you just cannot match home made granola. The fresh, toastiness of it. The endless choice of ingredients (Love dried cherries? Toss ’em in! Despise coconut? Banish it!), the lovely caramel-y roasting honey smell through the house… And of course grabbing a big chunk when it’s just cooled enough to be properly crunchy, but still warm enough to know it just came out of your own oven.
Yup, pretty sweet.
And in case you’re wondering how it’s done, I’ll share (cause my mom taught me to).
Things I measured:
- 4 C rolled oats (large flake, not quick-cooking)
- 1/2 C oil (I used grapeseed because that’s what I had most of, you could use olive or canola)
- 1/2 C honey (warm it to pourable if it’s not)
- 1/2 C maple syrup (you could use molasses here, or more honey, or corn syrup if you must)
Things I didn’t measure:
- Two handfuls of whole almonds, which I then chopped coarsely
- A handful each of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and flax seeds (I would have included hemp seeds if I’d had them)
- Some dried apples I found hiding behind some containers in my cabinet, chopped
- A liberal application of dried currants
- A heavy dash of sea salt (the recipe I “followed” says 1/2 teaspoon, but it also said 1t of vanilla, which I ignored this time)
- A swash of cinnamon powder
- A taste of dried ginger
What I did with it:
- Mix it all up thoroughly so everything’s coated in oil & honey/syrup
- Spread on two cookie sheets
- Bake @ 250ºF for 40 min, “stirring” once in the middle (it ended up a little on the dark side – still tasty but 5 minutes less would have been optimal – fortunately I like my currants nearly burnt)
- Cooled on racks before scraping up and storing in an airtight container (minus a good-sized taste-testing quantity)
The fun thing is that all the nuts, seeds, dried fruit, even spices can be played with however you like. I’ve done dried pineapples, mango, coconut & candied ginger, or dried cranberries and walnuts and cashews. Generally it’s just whatever I’ve got in the cabinets or felt like getting. As long as you’ve got the oats, oil & sweetener, it’s granola.
Aside from that, this whole weekend has been about spring cleaning. Now, when I say spring cleaning, I don’t mean throwing open the windows and scrubbing the place down until there’s nary a speck of dust or grime. As much as I’d love that to be done, I’m just not built for it (having little appetite and less aptitude for scrubbing to specklessness).
Really I mean spring reorganizing.
Inside I went through several of my more irksome shelving arrangements and sorted all the things just laying about into recycling, garbage, or suitable containers. And while visitors would likely still think that my home looks like The Place that Organization Forgot, I know it’s better and that makes me happy. Also I switched around some curtains to be ready for summer. I almost attacked the winter clothes but then thankfully remembered that as it’s still only March (the snow’s been gone so long I tend to forget how early it still is) I don’t have to face that particular ordeal just yet.
I was even going to plant some peas, but both my usual seed-getting places didn’t have any pea seeds yet, just lots of the stuff that needs to be started ahead indoors (which I haven’t the space for). Thus was my severe urge to plant something thwarted (well, except the cat grass, but that’s just not the same). Soon, my pretties, soon I will plant things.
That is all.