Tuesday, June 22, 2010

granola morning


Right now in my kitchen I easily have ten to fifteen pounds of fresh fruit. Delightful dilemma. This morning, facing the cereal, yogurt or toast question I decided on yogurt. One fragrant, juicy and very ripe peach and a cup of fresh blueberries topped with plain Greek yogurt and a serious helping of home made granola was my breakfast of choice.

If you haven't tried Greek yogurt, you really should. Trader Joe's carries the Fage brand at the best price in town. My love of Greek yogurt grew naturally from a desire to make tzatziki without straining regular plain yogurt. Greek yogurt is already very thick and does not require draining. Fairly obvious that Greek yogurt would work well in tzatziki, but my Barefoot Contessa cookbook was published before Greek yogurt was widely available. Look it up and make the recipe using only Greek yogurt instead of draining regular yogurt and adding sour cream. Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream in recipes. You can buy non-fat, low-fat and fully-leaded varieties. The Greek yogurt by the cup with fruit in the bottom sold at Costco reminds me of good old Dannon fruit on the bottom from high school. Yummmm....

Today's recipe is for granola based on a recent Bon Appetit recipe. Sara loves to visit the make your own granola website, Moja Mix (www.mojamix.com) and if you need some ideas for your own yogurt play around with their site. If you order some, please let me know how you like it. It's an awesome site. It calculates your nutritional information and you can make personalized labels. So fun. Just a little unnecessary in the new economy that I am not terribly enjoying.

Granola

3 C old-fashioned oats (highly recommend Trader Joe's toasted oats)
1/2 C golden flax seeds
1 C coarsely chopped almonds (slivered, blanched or whatever)
1/2 C unsweetened shredded coconut (not hard to find, I buy mine at Meijer and it's organic)
3 T packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 C honey
2 T vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet/jelly roll pan with parchment paper (or if you are super lucky, use a stoneware rimmed baking pan like mine from Pampered Chef-nothing sticks to it for long). Mix oats, nuts, coconut, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir honey and oil in saucepan over medium heat until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over oat mixture. Spread on prepared sheet. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes for about 40 minutes total. Remove pan from oven and cool. Store in an airtight container.

Obviously you can mix in anything your heart (or stomach) desires. If you add fruit stir it into the cool granola.

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