Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Homemade Granola

Last week I hosted a kitchen themed bridal shower for a friend (photos to come!). I knew I wanted to do a cute food themed gift but I also wanted it to be something fun, affordable and able to be made in bulk without too much work. I happened to have some mason jars and I figured that was a great vessel to package up a cute gift in a smaller quantity for a dozen people. 

Homemade granola seemed like the perfect fit and I have always wanted to try it! I had most ingredients on hand and it was quick to throw together! Plus, I know everyone likes granola-as a snack, in yogurt, or in a bowl of cereal-I think it is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

I wanted to find a recipe I trusted since I knew there would be countless options online and I would have no idea how to decide. I have a distinct memory  of one morning in college, while staying at a friend's house, of waking up to the most amazing smell. It was homemade granola that my friend's mom had made. It was delicious and I remember thinking..."Is there anything she CAN'T do?" She inspires me as an awesome example of a cook, mom and person. So when I needed a guaranteed recipe- I emailed her and she obliged with her family recipe. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! And of course, feel free to customize with your favorite add ins. I liked Craisins and walnuts and pecans but you could do raisins or dried apricots with almonds. Definitely customize this to your liking!









Homemade Granola
The Apron Gal

Makes around 9-10 cups (ish) 

Ingredients
6 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
 1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 cup chopped nuts 

1/2 cup craisins or raisins (or other dried fruit).

*1/2 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
1/3 cup honey

**1 egg white (optional) 

Directions

Mix all ingredients except craisins. 

Spread mixture onto greased cookie sheet (or use a Silpat) and bake for around 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, carefully turning once during baking. During the last five minutes, add the craisins. Mixture will continue baking on cookie sheet, so let granola get a toasty color but it doesn't need to be super crunchy, it will get crunchier as it sits. Let granola mixture cool on cookie sheet before storing in an airtight container.

*Note: I used 1/2 cup melted coconut oil and it was delicious! It is a healthier option that also offers a slightly sweeter taste to the granola. I strongly recommend it! 

**For chunky granola, coat the granola mixture with 1 egg white. Spread on cookie sheet but pack it tightly to create clumps. Do not turn. Let sit on cookie sheet for several hours (or overnight) before breaking up into chunks and storing in an airtight container. If you want half clumps and half 

For gluten free, make sure to use gluten free oats. 

Enjoy!


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