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Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Posted by barb_roselover_in (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 13:03

I know there are several of you who make your own granola. I tried but not too happy. Can't get to town to get additional stuff, but what should I add? It just doesn' t have flavor. I used flax, nuts pepitas, sunflower seeds, cranberries. I thought I had raisins but didn't . Added cinnamon but didn't have nutmeg. Would bits of dates help and what would add a little sweetness without adding a lot of calories? I added some vanilla, but you couldn't taste it. Need some help here. Thanks as always. Barb


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

More isn't necessarily better, it's just more. What do you use for sweetener? I use all honey in mine -- I think my local honey (really local, like from the front yard -- I'm a beekeeper) gives it a great flavor. Also, take your time with the toasting -- low and slow on the grains until they're nice and golden. I toast the nuts separately because they toast faster than the grains.


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Barb, this is how I make Granola for Moe.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Granola
=======
I didn't follow a recipe so each time I've made it it has been a little different. I didn't measure anything either. Basically I used regular oatmeal as the base and added a couple of other types of oats. Mixed in coconut, sunflower seeds and pumkin seeds, walnuts, sliced almonds, and then tossed with a mixture of honey, real maple syrup, orange juice and a little canola oil with a little cinnamon and vanilla added. Once it was all mixed well I spread it on two cookie sheets and baked in a 350°F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes
until golden. I rotated the pans and I stirred the mixture 3 or 4 times so that it toasted evenly. When it was golden, I removed it from the oven, put it into a large bowl and mixed in dried canberries, wild dried blueberries, yellow raisins and some cut up dates.

Let it cool before storing either in a glass jar or zip lock bags.


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

We've shared so many great granola recipes around here, and we all have at least one favorite - or many favorites. I continue to try new recipes all the time because I'd hate to miss a good one.

I like plain granola and add dried fruit as needed when serving it. I don't like the way fruit causes the grain/s to soften during storage, I like it to stay crispy, and the fruit tends to dry out or burn during baking. Plain granola also has more uses without added fruit.

I think a little maple syrup is a great addition for flavor and a little sweetness. For a low-glycemic sweetener I use coconut palm sugar or coconut palm nectar (which I make with palm sugar and water to save money). Palm sugar has a really rich caramel flavor compare to brown sugar.

It also depends on what I'm going to use the granola for - snacking, topping granola or fruit, using as a wheat-free pie shell.....

I used to make a really simple granola using oats and peanut butter for our kids, before they were old enough to safely eat nuts. Adding nut butters may be a flavor you'd like, but it overpowers all other flavors.

For gift giving, the recipe at the link below was shared here by lpinkmountain (April 21, 2011), and it's a great recipe. I don't know how many Christmas gift baskets this recipe has been included in.

-Granlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Clumpy Granola


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Boy, Barb, you've been doing through a rough "tasting" time lately, haven't you??

This recipe was posted years ago by LoriJean. Both hubs and I really love it. This granola is highly flavored, but not very sweet. I usually add 1/2 cup of chopped and roasted almonds plus 1/2 cup of freshly roasted sunflower seeds. And I leave out the 1 tablespoon of sugar--the honey is sweet enough. Oh, I also put the dried fruit in when serving. Otherwise it makes the granola a bit soggy.

Vanilla-Scented Granola

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup golden brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried apricots, raisins and coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Lightly spray large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in large bowl. Combine oil, honey, and sugar in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour hot liquid over oat mixture; stir well. Using hands, toss mixture until thoroughly mixed.

Spread granola on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer sheet to rack; cool granola completely. Mix in dried fruit and store in airtight container at room temperature.


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

I can vouch for LoriJean's Vanilla-Scented Granola.
It's excellent. You can add whatever nuts and grains you like to any granola. The fruit tends to dry out and get tough when stored with the granola, I like adding it to it when I use the granola.


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Dates have calories but good for you in small quantities.
My granola is alot like annie's. In looks. We don't like it very sweet, but we add our frozen blueberries and raspberries for the sweet. Or a fresh fruit salad.
Do you have a little mini prep or a blender? I have a mini that i picked up last year on sale when it seemed all my appliances were going bust....a cheap problem solver while i decided on up-grades. It works great for little things. It was just about 10 dollars on sale and i still grab it for quickie small things.
4-5 dates, chopped, in a 1/2 cup water and blended makes a pretty thick sauce.
You could take half your granola and stir in this sauce and bake long and slow...
225-250 for an hour keeping an eye on it. No need for more oil.
That way your 'sweet' is distributed over more of your mix with the same calorie count.
Not just in chunks mixed into your bland granola.
I used this on some baked chicken thighs last weekend. They were marinated in a very rich spicy Thai style sesame sauce that had no sweet at all and i wanted a glaze having boneless, skinless chicken.

-For granola I use steel cut oats, about 8 cups. I stir in three cups warm water that has spices, a bit of oil, the date sauce, a bit of coconut brown sugar, some soy, etc. (this fills two 1/2 sheet pans)...nuts, dried fruit, unsweetened coconut, seeds are added at the end. Nuts toasted on the stovetop. Because of so much moisture i cook mine long and slow. Pre-heat 400, then immediately turn down to 225 for well over an hour. Sometimes two hours.
I freeze in small one pint amounts. Keep in the fridge door what we are eating for the week. We just have about 3-4tbsp with fruit and yogurt. Can be very high in calories with all the nuts and such.
But really good for ya calories.


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

I second my "Clumpy Granola" link from the Cookie Madness blog. I have also made Bobby Flay's recipe, LoriJeans recipe above, and Grainlady's "Nutola."

But beware, maybe you don't want it to taste TOO good. As a friend of mine once said, "Home made granola is like crack."


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

LoriJean's vanilla scented here too! This step is key: "Combine oil, honey, and sugar in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat." I double the honey so that mine will be really "clumpy". And, my best tip, make sure to toast the nuts. Once they're dark enough, the flavor is top notch!


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Copied. Beachlily, you hit the nail on the head. I am trying to solve some food problems and am keeping a food diary and reading books. One thing that bothers me is that there seems to be a problem with the oatmeal, which I ate every morning. I am trying to research this . As things progress, we seem to have to find our own solutions . I used stevia, but I surely couldn't taste it. Did the honey work? Thanks Barb


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

I also make plain granola and add other ingredients later, as I also like the granola to be crispy and it is more versatile, as grainlady said. I do add honey and a little bit of oil, but I do not like cinnamon or vanilla in my granola, as those flavors are not compatible with other ingredients that I want to add later. I have on occasion added sesame seeds to the honey before mixing that with the oats, however, and sometimes I add coconut instead of sesame seeds. I normally eat granola with fresh berries or fruit instead of dried, and sometimes I add toasted sliced almonds.

If I buy granola, I read the ingredients carefully, to make sure that it does not contain vanilla or cinnamon. Cinnamon is okay if apples are added, but I generally add blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries instead, and I do not like those berries with cinnamon - or vanilla. What is really horrible is if I accidentally buy yogurt that has vanilla in it - that is inedible as far as I'm concerned. I love vanilla in other things, however. If you have good honey, there is enough flavor in that.

Lars


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

As most here know, I love maple and always have a gallon jug of good old Michigan Grade B on hand. My favorite granola comes from Kathy/gardengrl). It does have vanilla, but no cinnamon. My daughters love this stuff, I'll even eat plain yogurt if it's mixed with this granola. An additional drizzle of maple syrup doesn't hurt the yogurt, though. (grin)

MAPLE GRANOLA (from gardengrl)

7 cups thick oat flakes (rolled oats), uncooked
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup almonds, sliced or broken up
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped or broken up
1 cup sunflower seeds, raw or toasted
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup raisins
additional dried fruit/nuts as desired

In a very large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, wheat germ, nuts, seeds and salt. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Pour over dry mixture in bowl, stirring and tossing till everything is very well combined (your bare hands are the best tools for this step).

Spread granola on a couple of large, ungreased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 250F oven for 2 hours, tossing mixture every 15 minutes or so. Remove pans from oven and cool completely. Transfer granola to a large bowl, and mix in raisins and any additional dried fruit desired -- dates, figs, currants, dried cranberries or blueberries, etc. Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature.

Annie


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

So, how do I make granola bars? I like a take-along snack and loose granola doesn't work. Thanks
Nancy


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Nancy, any time I've made granola bars, I haven't used granola that was already prepared. My recipe calls for the oats, nuts and dried fruit, but then adds an egg and enough honey or maple syrup and butter instead of oil. It makes a sticker product that I can pat into a pan and bake, then cut into bars.

Annie


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

I agree with Lars (publickman) that cinnamon and vanilla are NOT necessary. In fact, I hate cinnamon flavor in granola. The Extra-virgin Coconut oil I use in granola is SO FRAGRANT that it perfumes the entire house with this wonderful fresh-coconut scent.

Here's a recipe from Pinterest, most pinned means it's most tested & loved. I lower oven temp. to 300, since from experience (made at least 6 batches of granola), flax meal and oats burn very easily in oven.

Killer Pumpkin Granola

In a large bowl combine: 3 cups old-fashion oats, 1/2 cup walnut pieces, 3/4 cup pepitas, 1/4 cup flax seeds. Cook in a saucepan: 1/4 cup coconut oil & 1/3 cup maple syrup & 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice & 2 tsp cinnamon & 1/4 cup pumpkin puree.

Then stir liquid into dry ingredients. Spread on a cookie sheet. Oven 300 for 30 minutes, stir after 15 minutes. Once cooled down, stir in 1/2 cup raisins & 1/2 cup golden raisins.

Below is my Pinterest "Sweets", there's one granola bar recipe in there. I don't have a sweet tooth, and the granola at store are too sweet for me, so I make my own (reduce the sugar).

Here is a link that might be useful: Strawberryhill's Pinterest of Sweets & granola

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Tue, Jan 28, 14 at 12:02


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Makes my mouth water reading some of your recipes. Anybody got a calorie count on these? My problem now is I made this stuff. I put two cups of flax seed in it which is not cheap, and I hate it. How can I take this big bag of stuff and make it better without losing it. I take it that it is not good to store the fruit and grains together because they get soft or mushy. I like it crisp. I would have to gulp a few times and wash it down with somethng. Bless you all for the help. Barb


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

barb_roselover_in-

For all the pounds of flax seed I incorporate in my diet, I never consume the seed whole because you don't get much more out of it than a laxative. In order to get all the great nutrition, lignans, fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids, you really need to grind the seeds and use them fresh.

I grind my own in a coffee/spice mill; and grind enough for a week and store it in the freezer so it doesn't go rancid. I would never purchase commercial flax meal (brands that have already been milled/ground) because the oils in flax degrade quickly once the shell of the seed has been cracked (through milling) and oxygen destroys the oils and nutrients - fresh is ALWAYS best.

You'll also find a "serving" of granola is between 1/4 and 1/2-cup (depending on ingredient blends) because they are more dense than flaked or puffed ready-to-eat cereals, and are often higher in fat and sugar.

-Grainlady

Ooops. I forgot to add the recipe with the nutritional information...

NUTOLA
1/8 c. (2 T.) sesame seeds (kasha is another good choice)
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. cashews
1/2 c. pecans
1/2 c. raw almonds
1/2 c. raw sunflower seeds
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal (can use quick oats as well)
Mix all together in a large bowl or container.

Stir together:
3 T. coconut oil, melted in the microwave
1/4 c. agave nectar (or honey)
2 T. maple syrup

Add liquid ingredients to the nut mixture and stir to coat evenly. Place ingredients on a jelly roll pan. Bake in a 300-degree F. oven for 30-40 minutes, stir with a wooden spoon every 10-minutes or so. A serving is 1/4-cup: protein-3g, net carbs-10g, calories per serving-147. Great with yogurt or kefir.

This post was edited by grainlady on Tue, Jan 28, 14 at 14:07


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Grainlady - ordered the tomaato powder. Thanks so much. Should I store in the freezer because they said it would harden.

I always have my flax ground because my doctor raised his eyebrows when I told him and said be very careful because of diverticulitis. I use chia also because it is supposed to be good for the rheumatoid arthritis, per my daughter who works with a FA who has that.

I am keeping a food diary. Oatmeal is a trigger food for me for the arthritis since that is systemic. What can I substitute? Thanks so much for your help. Barb


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

barb_roselover_in-

How much tomato powder did you order? If it's a small amount (8-oz. or less), then store it in the refrigerator. It hardens because there are no fillers (ingredients) to keep it free-flowing. So any time you open it, get in and get out quickly. The moisture in the air can cause it to clump, or even harden. I tuck a few moisture absorbers (leftovers from bottles of supplements we take) in the top of the jar to absorb any moisture from opening the jar.

Your frost-free refrigerator is a very dry environment, which is why it works to keep your powder dry, so to speak ;-). If the tomato powder gets hard, you can usually break it up with a spoon or grate it on a fine box grater or microplane back into a powder again. Just don't leave the lid off for any length of time.

If you purchased a large amount, like a #10 can, place it in user-friendly amounts - pint or 1/2-pint canning jars - and vacuum-seal them shut with a FoodSaver using the jar attachment. Kept in a dry, dark and cool environment (vacuum-sealed) it has an indefinite shelf-life.

I've suffered with arthritis since I was 14-years old, so you have my sympathy.... You may get some relief if you limit foods from nightshade plants, so you might want to research that. I decreased inflammation considerably by eliminating wheat.

I have a flaker mill so I can make flakes from a large variety of soft grains - rye, spelt, einkorn, barley, wheat, kamut, quinoa, oat groats, triticale... Check Bob's Red Mill for a variety of flakes. Unfortunately, nothing tastes like oats. Many years ago a local mill made "heavy bran" from hard winter white wheat, which was made like oatmeal, and worked in recipes just like oatmeal - but that wonderful taste was sorely missing. I was part of a small group challenged to use heavy bran in recipes, but the product was too work-intensive to be put into production on a local basis - after I used 25# of it in experimental recipes. Heavy bran is generally used as the base product for making flaked cereals.

You may have better luck if you soak your oats, rather than consuming them raw in granola. Or soak and dehydrate them first, if you want to use them in granola-type mixtures. Oats contain more phytates than almost any other grain. I generally soak and dehydrate nuts before I add them to granola so they are easier to digest and have more available nutrition. If you aren't familiar with soaking gains/nuts/seeds, check your library for a copy of "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., and you can find more information on-line.

When it comes to chia seeds, I purchase them 5-pounds at a time and have used them for 7-8 years. They are my #1 health food.

-Grainlady


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Grainlady, I have some questions about soaking oatmeal, specifically old fashioned rolled oats. Soak in water overnight or longer? Then I'm assuming you drain well and dehydrate. Will that make the uncooked oats more digestible? Also, add citric or ascorbic acid to the soaking water? Thanks!

Barb, I keep a 24 oz plastic jar of tomato powder in my pantry cupboard. It's got some of those moisture absorbers Grainlady mentioned in it. I also keep it in a heavy plastic bag. Every once in a while I give it a good shake too. So far I haven't had any hardening problems.

Tomato powder is such a handy product. I think it's a perfect sub for canned tomato paste. Convenient and I end up with just the amount I want -- no worrying about what to do with half a can of leftover paste. It's also great for pizza sauce and when I want to add a bit of tomato flavor but not a whole can of sauce, crushed, or whole tomatoes.


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

All these pictures and recipes look so good. I finally had to stop making and buying granola because I would eat it all day long. After I stopped indulging my granola addiction, I lost five pounds!


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Barb Roselover, I'd sub buckwheat groats for oats. I'd buy toasted buckwheat groats and soak them for 30 minuts or 1 hour at most (they turn mushy very fast in my experience). Then drain and dry them in a very low oven. I wouldn't use non-toasted buckwheat because it doesn't have the same wonderful flavour (I hope you like buckwheat).

I guess one could sub quinoa as well, but I wouldn't knw how to do that because I never tried the stuff. It puts me off for some reason.


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

shambo-

A couple generations ago (before quick and instant oats came on the market) the instructions on the oatmeal box was to soak the oats overnight before cooking it the next day. Not only did it reduce the cooking time, it aided in the digestibility and increased the nutrition.

The biggest concern for soaking oats (or other grains, seeds, nuts and beans that contain phytates) may be more important if a person is consuming large quantities each day, or if they are having digestive issues when consuming them. You can also take digestive enzymes when eating large quantities of grains to help digestive issues, as yet one more option.

According to some "experts", "as little as 7-hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains." Some people are more sensitive to phytic acid than other people. This simple practice of soaking for cracked or rolled cereal grains will improve their nutritional benefit, often aiding in digestion for people who have a problem digesting whole grains.

The highest concentration of phytates in oats is in the bran. When "Oat Bran" was all the rage for weight loss back in the 80's, people who consumed large quantities of oat bran made into muffins and added to nearly everything they ate, often experienced mineral losses, sometimes developed allergies, and even experienced irritation of the intestinal tract.

You'll find a number of methods that include water plus an acid (buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, whey, or lemon juice, vinegar if avoiding dairy products....) - or soaking them in buttermilk (or other fermented dairy product like kefir or yogurt). A traditional Irish oat scone recipe I make includes soaking the oats overnight in buttermilk, as an example.

The grains are soaked for anywhere from 7-36 hours, then dehydrated. BTW, it's a lot of work.....

Another way to do this is to sprout grain first, dry it (dehydrator) and then mill it into either flakes or flour. Sprouted grain flakes and sprouted grain flour is also available commercially. Nuts.com sells some sprouted seed flour/s and also some sprouted seeds.

I gleaned most of my information from "Nourishing Traditions", some classes I've attended on the subject, Weston A. Price web site and studies, Ann Wigmore, Jordan Rubin, "The Sproutman" Steve Meyerowitz, and any number of practitioners with their own blogs and web sites.

I don't know if this helps or confuses you, but I know we've benefited from incorporating these methods since consuming more whole grains/seeds/beans/nuts in our diet.

-Grainlady


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

I have seen quinoa flakes in the health food section of my local groceries. BF mixes them with his oatmeal. I don't care for quinoa or buckwheat. I love oats, I would be so heartbroken if I couldn't eat them. That and tea are such staples of my family history. (Dutch Grandma had oatmeal for breakfast and afternoon tea every day!). I can no longer do tea due to bladder issues. I hope oats aren't next! So far so good, in fact they are good for my IBS. Interesting notes on soaking them though, I may try it. I love the steel cut oats but rarely have time to make them. I also add oat bran to things because I don't like wheat bran. Gonna have to rethink that one too!


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

lpinkmountain-

How to speed-up cooking steel-cut oats & incorporate a soaking method.

Bring 4 c. water to a boil in a pot that has a lid for it. Turn off heat and add one cup of steel-cut oats and 1-2 T. of ONE of the following - yogurt, buttermilk, buttermilk, whey, lemon juice or vinegar. Stir and put the lid on and leave at room temperature overnight. The next morning cook the oatmeal on low for 9-12 minutes (add salt if you'd like). Cook it only until it's a little wet/loose, then let sit for 5-minutes and it will thicken. If you cook it until it's the thickness you like, it will be too thick by the time you serve it.

Place any leftovers in the refrigerator and use them for the next few days. You can also place the oatmeal in a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. The next day you can cut the oatmeal into slices and fry it (dipped in an egg/milk batter) like French Toast, or reheat the slices with a little water or milk for a bowl of nearly "instant" oatmeal. Cook once and eat many times..... ;-) It also freezes well.

Another method that can be eaten hot OR cold. I make this recipe in 1/2-pint jars (enough for me for 2 meals, but probably one serving for most people. The original recipe is from "Secrets of Salt-Free Cooking" by Jeanne Jones, but this is my individual serving version. I make it with Millville Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats (I accidently purchased them at Aldi instead of regular steel cut oats - same box, different color label), and it works just as well with old-fashioned oats.

OVERNIGHT OATMEAL

1/4 c. Quick Cook Steel-Cut Oats (or old-fashioned oats)
1/4 c. dried fruit of choice (craisins, blueberries, cherries, chopped apricots, chopped dried apples.....)
1/4 c. chopped almonds (I use Crispy Almonds - I sprout and dehydrate them before using them)
3/4 t. cinnamon
1 oz. kefir (or yogurt, whey, buttermilk, etc.) in a glass measuring cup, and fill to the 1/2-cup mark with water and stir together

Stir ingredients together. Place in 1/2-pint canning jar and add lid. Place in refrigerator. The next day you can eat it as-is, cold, or heat it and add your favorite toppings (you may want to add a little more liquid if heating it).

-Grainlady


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Grainlady said " ....I never consume the seed whole because you don't get much more out of it than a laxative." Wow, thank you for pointing that out! No. Really.

Okay, I've eaten two bowls of the vanilla-scented granola (wimped and only used 1 tsp. of vanilla) Can't have nuts, so I used wheat flakes in place of almonds. Dried cranberries and coconut. Didn't clump -- didn't care. It's a winner.

Since I'm wondering if this recipe is going to last the day (thank goodness I didn't use whole flaxseed), I'm somewhat uneasy about trying the other recipes on this thread, particularly the clumpy granola ....:)

Great information!

lpinkmountain said: "But beware, maybe you don't want it to taste TOO good. As a friend of mine once said, "Home made granola is like crack." My goodness -- too true:)

Cathy in SWPA


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RE: Trying to make my own granola. Unhappy

Thanks for the info, Grainlady. I don't make granola on a regular basis, so maybe I don't need to fuss too much about the oats. I've never been a hot or cold cereal lover just because the required milk never appealed to me. It could be that I instinctively knew I was lactose intolerant. Or it could be that because my mother could not tolerate milk, she never served milky foods.

That said, I do make granola sometimes for my husband. But like others have mentioned, it usually ends up as a crunchy snack rather than a breakfast cereal.


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