{sms} cherry almond granola

Good stuff. I make granola all the time. In fact, I’ve made Sweet Melissa’s Cherry Almond Granola once before. It was used in the 4th recipe baked for Sweet Melissa’s SundaysGranola Breakfast Cookies–way back in April 2009. It’s kinda weird because you can see I’m wearing my wedding rings. Weird. It was a previous life.

Another difference between then and now is that this week I’m hosting the recipe. Oh, and this time I didn’t drop my granola container and waste most of the batch. 😉

Granola is great because you do anything with it. You can use it in cookies and bread. You can eat as cereal. You can eat it with yogurt and fruit. And, of course, it’s great on double-bean vanilla ice cream.

Cherry Almond Granola

From The Sweet Melissa Baking Book

Makes 4 quarts granola

    • 5 cups rolled oats
    • 3 cups rye flakes (see note)
    • 1 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
    • 1 cup roasted shelled pumpkin seeds
    • 1 cup whole natural almonds
    • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
    • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
    • 3/4 cup clover honey
    • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 cup dried currants
    • 1 cup dried cherries
    • 1 cup golden raisins

    Before You Start

    Position a rack in the bottom and top thirds of your oven. Preheat the oven to 250° F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

    1. In a very large bowl, combine the oats, rye flakes, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds, and dry milk powder.
    2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the oil, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and ginger and bring to a simmer, 3 to 4 minutes.
    3. Pour hot mixture over the oat mixture, and mix well to combine.
    4. Divide the granola equally between the prepared cookie sheets, spreading it evenly into a single layer. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.
    5. Break up the granola into a bowl. Add the currants, cherries, and raisins and mix thoroughly.

    The granola keeps in an airtight container at room temperature and in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

    Note: Rye flakes are similar to rolled oats and can be used in much the same way. You can find them at natural foods stores.

    Advertisements

    Granola Bread

    Mix My Granola contacted me a while back to ask if I would like to sample their product. I love making my own granola, but sometimes run out of my homemade mix and don’t have any for quite awhile. Mix My Granola is a great compromise.

    While it’s truly not homemade, you get to make your own mix. You start by choosing your granola base and then can add in your choice of dried fruits, nuts, and other mix-ins. I loved all the organic options.

    For my mix, I chose the Organic Granola Base,  Dried Raspberries, Dried Blackberries (I wanted to try them!), Pecans, & Sunflower Seeds.  Mix My Granola sends the granola in a tube with the customized ingredients and nutrition information listed.


    I used most of the granola in my usual way of eating it: for breakfast with Greek yogurt and fruit. However, I also used some of it to make delicious Granola Bread from King Arthur Flour’s Whole-Grain Baking Book.  The bread is almost creamy and makes very delicious toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

    Maple-Nut Granola with Dried Strawberries and Blueberries

    Please excuse this post interruption for an important message:

    Cherries are here! Cherries are here!

    I’m so excited! First I found fresh corn at the store this week and now, I found cherries at the farmers’ market. Summer is coming. Yay! I love summer, can you tell?

    cherries

    Now, back to the regularly scheduled post.

    granola

    Dried strawberries! Have you tried them? They’re wonderful. I’ve recently discovered them. They are now my new favorite dried fruit. I used them, along with dried blueberries, in this week’s granola recipe which comes from Eating Well magazine. This particular recipe is from their November/December 2008 issue (yes, I’m still going through my piles of magazine recipes) and is meant to be a homemade gift. But I’m keeping it all to myself, it’s so good.

    You can find the recipe HERE. The only changes I made was to use the dried strawberries and blueberries instead of  dried cranberries and raisins.

    Cherry Almond Granola

    parfait-2

    I’ve been making my own granola for quite awhile now and don’t buy premade cereal. I’m always trying new recipes. My favorite breakfast is a yogurt parfait with fruit and granola. The rep from Stonyfield Yogurt sent me coupons to try Oikos Greek Yogurt, which I did for this parfait. I prefer full-fat yogurt and Oikos is non-fat so it was not as thick as I prefer and the taste seemed off, but is typical of nonfat milk items. It comes in plain which is wonderful because I only buy plain yogurt.

    This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe is the Breakfast Granola Cookies which I will blog about on Sunday. It came at a perfect time because I just ran out of my previous granola.

    parfait

    This is a tasty recipe which includes not only rolled oats, but rye flakes (except I couldn’t find rye flakes and used Bob’s Red Mill 5-grain mix which included rye flakes and flax seeds). There are also sunflower seeds, pepitas, currants,  in addition to the dried cherries and almonds. The recipe also calls for milk powder and honey. To make the recipe vegan so I can eat it on my vegan days, I used soy milk powder and agave syrup instead.

    This recipe makes a lot of granola, more than my granola container holds–so I packed some up and gave some to friends. But then disaster struck–I dropped my granola container (which broke) and spilled most of the granola all over  my kitchen floor. Luckily, approximately 2 cups stayed safe in the container. So now I need to make more granola…what recipe should I try next?

    cherry-almond-granola

    Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! oh, and some granola

    pizza1

    This week‘s The Art and Soul of Baking recipe was pizza dough. I’ve made pizza from scratch before and it is easy and doesn’t take a long time. I made the pizza in between 3 batchs of cookies.  I made a broccoli and cheese pizza for P and a carmelized onion and cheese pizza for me.

    pizza2Homemade pizza is great, not only because it is an easy dough, but also because the dough freezes well. I stick it in the fridge before work and its perfectly defrosted and ready for rolling when I get home.

    Carmelized Onions

    Enough for one personal-size pizza

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 shot of cognac
    • 1 splash of balsamic vinegar
    • salt, to taste

    Heat of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until golden brown. Add cognac and and balsamic vinegar and cook a few minutes longer. Remove from heat and add salt to taste.

    pizza5

    I also made the next recipe  in Super Natural Cooking, Grain-ola. For the last few months, I’ve been making home made granola for my morning cereals and yogurt instead of buying processed cereal from the store. I’ve never made the same recipe twice, but they all follow the same method. Mix rolled oats with nuts, add a sweetener and an oil, sometimes add wheat germ or shredded coconut. Bake in low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until toasty and golden brown. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Stir occasionally while it cools. Once cooled, store in an air-tight container.

    grainola

    This recipe called for coconut oil, which I have never used, and honey as the sweetener. In addition to the oats, walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, shredded unsweetened coconut, orange zest, and dried tropical fruits were added to the mix.

    This oatmeal tastes okay. It has a weird taste. I’m thinking it is the coconut oil. I’m leaving for vacation this week and will bring some along for the plane ride.