Few know that I have/had a cooking blog. I had very good intentions for that blog, but that's all there ever was- intentions. It's too much pressure to cook all the time. Especially when you have a stressful job and when you get home you're just hungry and want to eat now. I don't have the patience to then take pictures and then blog about my cooking. Too. much. work. for. me. And perhaps I am a bit lazy, who knows! Anyhow, I'm starting anew and sticking to my current hobby- baking!
Why baking? Why not baking. Who doesn't like cookies, breads and pies? Half the fun is baking up something better than what you could get at the store, showing it off to your friends and eating your creations. So why not blog about the adventures of baking? That's the other half of the fun.
So am I cheating by starting off my ode to baking blog with talks of granola? Can you really bake granola? I'm going to say no and yes in that order. Granola is fun and tasty and easy... and it's not just for hippies anymore!
PLUS- buying granola from the store is a big rip off! So without further ado- my fantastic granola recipe. Make it, you'll love it and you may just shed a tear for all those times you overpaid for store bought granola!
2 cups old fashion oats (not instant!)
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 cup of your favorite nuts or any combination thereof (my case- almonds & walnuts)
1/2 cup raisins or your favorite dried fruit(s)
1. Heat your oven to 370 degrees
2. Gather all your ingredients and toss everything except for your dried fruit into one bowl
3. Mix well!
4. Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet and spread evenly
5. Toss the cookie sheet into the oven
6. Bake for 10 minutes and mix up the granola so the oats and nuts toast evenly
7. Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until golden brown
8. Let the granola cool completely
9. Add your dried fruit(s) to your granola and store in an airtight container or bag
10. Enjoy your tasty granola-- granola in milk, granola with fruit and yogurt, etc, etc.
The granola will last about a week or maybe more. Most granola recipes suggest you add your dried fruits to bake with the rest of the granola. I've tried that method several times and each time I just get sad burnt raisins, so I suggest just adding them afterwards. Also, many other recipes suggest adding much more oil to the mix. Perhaps that is why store bought granola is so fattening. It really doesn't need much oil at all! Just a bit will do- honest!
Now go make some granola and let me know how it turns out! It's a pretty versatile recipe- a pinch of ginger? A super fancy honey? pistachios? Endless possibilities!