Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Maple Pecan Granola

Makes about 6 cups
Printable version here: click

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup unsweetened flake coconut
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 Tablespoons wheat germ
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, mix oats, nuts, brown sugar, flaxseed meal and wheat germ. In a small bowl, mix the oil, syrup, vanilla, and salt until blended (the texture will change and it will be very obvious you have mixed it thoroughly). Pour the oily syrup mixture over the oaty nut mixture and stir until oats are well coated. Divide between two baking sheets and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes to avoid the dreaded nut scorch. Cool thoroughly and store in an airtight container. Eat within 7-10 days.


A few tips...

1. Go for whole pecan halves and roughly chop them yourself. Chopped pecans--or any chopped nuts, for that matter--are nothing more than the nuts that fell apart during processing and there's no guarantee you won't get a chunk of shell. Biting a nutshell is no fun for anyone, but it can be especially miserable for a toddler. Slivered almonds aren't bad, since they are very obviously whole almonds that have been slivered.

2. When you're hunting for maple syrup, grab the Grade B. It's got a burly maple flavor and is often less expensive. Buy it in bulk, if you can, and you'll save even more.

3. Toss in some raisins or other dried fruit while the granola is cooling, if you like. There is a very clear division in our house between the raisin eaters and the raisin haters. I love them, as does the Biggest Girl. Our hero, Mr. Mallard, considers them to be the fruit of the devil. Since we all eat the granola, I leave the raisins out, though I have been known to toss a few dried cranberries in my own bowl.

4. While it is tasty enough to eat by the handful, we make a fast, hearty breakfast out of it by mixing it with some plain yogurt. De-liciousness!

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