My hybrid granola!

So, I have been a bit like goldilocks with my homemade granola and tonight came close to "just right". My standby recipe was Neysa's, though I had long ago ditched the flax and sunflower seeds- I know that they have great nutritional benefits, but I really am not in to the taste of seeds in the granola. Particularly the flavor of flax. Whenever I've used it for an egg replacer (ground) in baking, if I can pick up the taste of the flax- it totally ruins it for me. I digress- this is supposed to be all about granola. This standby recipe was also a bit dry for me and didn't have the clumping that some store bought granola has (I like food in clump form).

I also tried the granola from Vegan Family Meals- she cracked the code of the clump, but mine came out far too sweet, I over cooked it and it tasted like candy, really. Which is great for a sweet snack, but not as much for brekkie.

Tonight I sat down with both recipes to suss out a happy medium. There were similarities, but also huge differences (4 c of flakes difference, and- the magic clumping ingredient- brown rice syrup is in the cookbook). So, I took my favorite parts of each and made my own hybrid or franken version that I think came out pretty good.

It has a huge crunch raw, and holds up without getting soggy in soymilk (while I took this photo). You could bake it for less time to cut back on the crunch. There's no real huge clumps, but I'm not sure that I mind too much, there's a few small ones about which makes me happy. Also, this is a really good sweet level for me. It's not very sweet, but still with the dried cranberries and blueberries, it's as sweet as I'd want to go. I may try reducing the maple syrup and agave next time for 1/8 c more rice syrup to try to get those elusive clusters, though.

1 cup rye flakes
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2T Cinnamon
1/2 t salt

1/4 c brown rice syrup
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c agave nectar
2 T melted coconut oil
2 T water
1T vanilla

Dried cranberries
Fresh Blueberries

Preheat oven to 275. mix all dry ingredients together. Melt coconut oil and wisk wet ingredients together in a second bowl. Combine wet into dry and mix until all dry ingredients are coated. Do not add toppings before baking. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and stir up and rotate. Bake for another 10-20 minutes depending on crunch preference (more time = more crunch).

You can add about 1/2 c dried cran into the cooled granola. I just put in a handful of cran and a handful of fresh blueberries before eating it. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Neysa's Granola

This granola recipe is courtesy of my former boss Neysa! I don't remember how this came about, I know that she had made it and became addicted to eating it with homemade yogurt and I think that the smell of deliciousness wafted from her office to mine and then I stole her purse and said sent her an anonymous ransom note (I loooove cutting individual letters out of magazines!) and then she turned in the ransom (the recipe) and I put her purse in one of those barrels around a St. Bernards neck and sent him to her office to return it. Then I went home, made it and basked in the tastiness.

It also makes a great gift for people who have everything (since they'll consume it).

here's her recipe and my modifications in parenthesis:

3 cups large flake oats (bulk section of whole foods or a natural foods store)
1 1/2 cups barley or rye flakes
1/2 cup oat bran (bulk or sometimes boxed by cereal isle)
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 t salt
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans or almonds- I loooove it with sliced almonds)
1/2 c pumpkin seeds (I don't add this much, but it is good)
1/2 c flax seeds (I'm iffy on these, I know that they're great for you, but I'm not huge on the taste- I still use some though)
1/2 c veg oil
1/4 c water
2/3 c honey, maple syrup (or agave)
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c dried berries (cherries, cran, raisins, etc)
(2 T cinnamon)

In a large bowl, combine all dried ingredients except berries. In smaller bowl, whisk, oil, water, liquid sweetener and vanilla. Combine wet and dry together. I add 1 T of cinnamon into the batter and then sprinkle more on top (I likes me some cinnamon).

Spread mixture onto two baking sheets and bake at 250 degrees for 10 minutes, stir and cook for another 10 minutes. If you like it crunchy, bake another 10 (I end up baking for an hour and stirring every 15 minutes or so- I either like it really crunchy or Neysa has a warp speed oven!)

Cool and stir in berries. Sealed it keeps for up to a month.

Thanks again, Neysa!