(Editor’s Note: Rosanna took the week off to nurse a toothache, but she’ll be back next week. This is a column that may have ran once on this site, but I can’t find it in the archives, so maybe it didnt’!)
Brr! This cold weather gets one thinking about comfort food, and oddly enough, granola is one of them. I’m not sure why, because it’s not exactly a hot meal, but it is a warmth-provoking meal. Maybe it’s because it’s homemade. Of course, the stuff you make yourself always has a better taste, just because of your attitude when you consume it. I do not care tor “cold cereal” of any sort, unless it is granola. I have grown up eating hot breakfasts, so cold cereals might be okay for a snack, but don’t call them breakfast! Just this morning we had a fairly ordinary breakfast of fried eggs, toast, bacon, applesauce, hash browns,and juice. The only thing that made this special was the fact that we had bacon and hash browns at the same meal. Bacon is a treat at our place, so we typically serve it with a smaller meal to make that meal special. Why should soggy cornflakes or purple-tinted milk sound like breakfast? Eating cold cereal is a waste of energy, in my opinion. I am hungrier after I’ve eaten a bowl of cold cereal than if I’d not eaten anything at all. But granola, that’ll fill you up just like oatmeal!
We don’t have granola on hand all the time, because it gets consumed so fast. A 10-cup batch can be gone in a week, just from one breakfast serving apiece and snacking. I can’t make homemade yogurt without the boys asking for the granola. This is the recipe ( I use it as a starting point but like all my recipes, it doesn’t always get followed!) The molasses is definitely the best thing about this recipe. It adds a special richness to the taste, but you don’t want to go any more than equal parts to the honey or it will be overpowering . .
Preheat oven to 300 degrees: (But sometimes I forget and leave it at 350, so the granola has extra “toasted” flavor!) In a “grande” bowl or roasting pan mix:
Serves: 12 servings
- 5 cups rolled oats (preferably not instant)
- ¾ cup sunflower seeds
- ¾ cup wheat germ
- 1½ cups chopped nuts (your choice)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- In a saucepan heat together, but do not boil the following:
- 1 /2 cup brown sugar
- 3 /4 cup water
- 3 /4 cup canola oil
- 1 /4 cup honey
- ¼ cup molasses
- 3 /4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1 /2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 300.
- Pour syrup over dry ingredients arid stir well.
- Spread in two 9x13 baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. (I am too lazy to dirty that many dishes so I mix It up and roast the granola in the same turkey roasting pan.
- This takes longer in the oven; I roast for about 45-60 minutes and stir every 15 minutes.)
- When the granola has cooled, mix in 2 cups of your favorite dried fruit. (I typically do part raisins; part dried cranberries because they are readily available.)