Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gary's Granola -- A Father's Day Treat

My husband, Gary, aka Mr. Blog Appetit, has been eating Grizzlies brand Cinnamon Nut Granola for as long as I have known him (more than 29 years). In addition to being an excellent breakfast or snack, the granola has doubled as fruit crumble topping and once even once made it into some home made muffins. It truly was wondrous stuff.

Unfortunately it has become harder and harder to find as more and more stores use a single supplier for bulk foods. It has even disappeared from the bulk bins at the fabled Berkeley Bowl.

Back in March we decided to try to make him a granola he might enjoy as much if not more than the Grizzlies' one he has been accustomed to. Today, Father's Day, we just made our third batch and now when we shop the bulk bins it is not to search in vain for his old favorite but to look for ingredients for his new home-made one, customizing each batch to his taste.

Since I keep losing and having to find the slip of paper I've written out the proportions on, I thought I would post it on my blog so I never will have to search for it again (except, of course, by key word).

Gary's Granola
Makes about 5 cups of granola

This recipe is adapted from one in Deborah Madison's excellent Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. This makes a not-too-sweet, spicy and crunchy cereal that's good with milk or yogurt or just out of hand for snacking. Gary tends to eat about a quarter to a half cup at a time with plain yogurt and fresh fruit.

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup raw whole almonds
1/2 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola or other neutral oil
1/4 cup agave syrup (you could substitute honey)
1 cup raisins and/or slivered dried fruit (we like unsulphured apricots, but this mix varies)

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, almonds, seeds,nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Toss together until well mixed. Add the oil and sweetener and mix again thoroughly. Spread the mixture out on ungreased baking sheet pan(s). Put in the oven. Using a spatula turn the mixture over and spread out again every 10 minutes or so while it browns. When it has turned golden and brown throughout (about 30 minutes), remove from the oven and mix in the dried fruit. Allow to cool. Store in an air-tight container.

Update: 8.24.09 -- Gary is now making this without any salt and prefers it that way.
Update: 12.24.09 -- Gary is now using 1/2 honey and 1/2 agave and makes double batches.
Update 1.7.10 -- Gary now bakes for about 35 minutes (10 min, 10 min, 10 min, 5 min intervals between stirs).
Update 10.22.11 -- Gary now uses all agave syrup.

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