"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer


Add your email address here & receive new posts from This American Home!

Monday, February 9, 2015

I Heart Granola

Following a recent business trip to the Seattle area, my husband brought home the most amazing homemade granola given to him by Mandy Levenberg, chief cook and bottlewasher of Greater Good Granola a small business based on the honor system and created with a mission for giving back to the community. 

Every week, the baker/mother/business consultant whips up batches of granola goodness, packages them in mason jars and leaves them in a fruit crate on her front porch. The idea: take a 1 or 2lb jar, leave your cash. You can also subscribe to the granola service and bring back your jar each week for a refill. Simple as that. Profits are donated to hunger-based charities in the Seattle area. If you don't live in the neighborhood, Levenberg will also ship.

Inspiring on so many levels.

I kept meaning to photograph the cute bag of Greater Good Granola tied up with string for the blog...but I ate it.  I couldn't help myself. It was irresistible on my banana every morning...on yogurt, ice cream, as a snack... I kept thinking: Okay, just one more scoop -then, I'll photograph it...You get the idea.

Once it was gone, I suffered homemade granola withdrawal -and decided it was time to take matters into my own kitchen mitts.

With Valentine's Day coming up, it could also make a great gift! But I have to warn you, like any great love affair, it may be habit forming...
Leaning heavily on the Basic Granola Recipe by Roxanne Weber, I also incorporated elements of the granola recipe in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and took inspiration from the Vanilla Almond Granola recipe I found on Sally's Baking Addiction.
Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats 
3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Add-ins: (note, these are suggested amounts add more or less to your heart's desire!)
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup coconut 
1 cup diced dried figs
1 cup diced dried apricots
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pistachios

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 and move rack to center position.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in one big bowl: oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together.

3. Next, combine honey, oil and vanilla in a smaller bowl, stir to combine. Then, pour over the dry ingredients and mix until oats are thoroughly coated.

4. Spread the oat mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and continue baking until the granola has turned a light, golden brown -about 5-15 minutes more. For me, it was another 15 minutes.

5. When you take the pan of golden brown granola out of the oven, place it on top of a wire rack and allow it to cool to room temperature.  Stir occasionally. It's hard to wait.

6. While the granola is cooling, about 20 minutes, prepare your add-ins. Dice up larger dried fruits and chop nuts if necessary. I chose dried apricots, cherries, figs, cranberries, shredded coconut, sliced almond and chopped cashews and pistachios - but you could use almost anything - even chocolate chips! In the future, I want to experiment more with seeds. If you have any favorites, please let me know in the comments below so I can try!

7. Finally, gently mix everything together in the big bowl. Woohooo! 

The granola will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks...if it lasts that long.
To give as a gift, consider using decorative cellophane bags; baggies placed inside of brown paper lunch sacks and tied with twine or ribbon; or mason jars tied with a ribbon.

Happy, healthy Valentine's! xo

2 comments :

  1. Wow this looks and sounds amazing! !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Connor Joe! It was easy and the whole family likes! Winner!

      Delete

Follow American Home here!

Gadget

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.