All winter long we alternate breakfast between oatmeal and eggs.
I'm still on an egg-free diet and, while I have found a million ways to vary up the oatmeal, it's summer now: not every morning is suitable for hot oatmeal.
Enter granola. It still uses all the basic materials (that I buy in bulk or make at home): oats, honey, and yogurt (a girl has to have some protein to chase twins all day!). But I can serve it cool... and even snack on it mid-day.
I've tried a lot of granola recipes, but I'm finding that granola is one of those things where it's okay to exercise my creative genes. I just sort of go with it. :)
Here's my loose recipe, a couple variations, and a few granola making tips.
- about 4 cups oats (the toddlers measure... it's never exact!)
- about 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or not)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or wheat germ
- 1/2 stick butter (I'm sure coconut oil would be amazing too!)
- 1/2-1 cup honey (enough to make it pretty moist)
- Preheat oven to 250 F
- Thoroughly mix oats, coconut, and wheat flour/germ.
- Dump in butter and add enough honey to make it pretty moist but not super sticky
- Toss in an oiled glass or ceramic baking dish. I use a 9x13 or two extra large loaf pans. Do not use a metal dish: you will burn it!
- Put into oven and stir outsides/bottom toward the top/middle of your dish about every 30 minutes.
- When it turns a tad golden brown, it's done!
- If you like nuts in your granola, add them in slices or bits before baking.
- If you like dried fruit in your granola (or chocolate chips), add after baking.
- Feel free to add in some spices of your choice: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamon would all be good.
- Feel free to use some extracts. I've used vanilla and almond before. Both were pretty yummy :)
- Chocolate granola: Add enough cocoa powder (the darker the better!) to turn the oat mixture a chocolate color before baking.
- Banana granola: Mash a banana and add with the honey.
I think I'm going to try pumpkin next... wish me luck!