Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Steph's Granola: Everything Mus(t) Go!

Sipped on day-old coffee (yes, day-old coffee) as I filtered through my closet...I have a large pile of cute clothes and ballet attire to give away. Come n' get it.

Started to read a book for fun. Made a space on my tiny porch for a towel and my body. Sunshine. Lovin' it.

Relaxing (-ish) sun-filled days complete with evenings entailing dinner + drinks + friends.

Can I tell you the truth? I'm not very good at this whole "relaxing" thing. But, I'm trying, and trying feels nice. Champagne helps. Champagne feels nice. Things in jars help, too. Things in jars make me want to vomit (too cliche) but also flirtatiously bat my eyes (jars=cuteness).

Granola is the name of the game right now. Why are there so many "Mom's Granola" recipes out there? Sure, Mother's day is coming up. Sure, I love my mom. My mom has never made me granola before. "Mom's Grilled Cheese" suits her better than granola.

Today I give you "Steph's Granola." Sometimes, it is all about me. Well, actually, sometimes it is all about using up the random accumulated food in your pantry/fridge before you move across the country. And thus "Steph's Granola" was born.

Steph's Granola was born out of multiple recipes and attempts of granola (and granola bars) as well as too many things that need to get used up before she moves out of her apartment.

Things I used up:
-leftover trail mix from Trader Joe's in which I had eaten out all of the dried cherries, cranberries, and pineapple and was left with cashew and almonds
-more almonds
-about half of a cup of leftover salty mixed nuts which I only left the brazil nuts and about 6 hazelnuts
-wheat germ (I have SO much left, gah help me)
-raw quinoa (adds a lovely crunch. I also recommend sesame seeds)
-a small pack (about 1/4 cup) of applesauce (helps with the "wet" ingredients and to add less sugar)
-the end of my cinnamon jar
-some almond extract
-used up about 1/2 cup of banana chips and 1/2 cup of choco chips that have been sitting in the pantry for about 7 months

More ideas that you may have to use up in your pantry:
-chopped candied ginger
-peanut butter
-pretzels, chopped
-mashed banana

Steph's Granola

adapted from multiple recipes, today from Food & Wine's annual cookbook 2010

Makes 7 cups

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1.5 cups of nuts (see above for what I used)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup raw quinoa
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted nuts)
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon agave (I think I used some random maple syrup made with agave?)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup or one of those small individual packs applesauce
a few shakes of cinnamon
a few drops of almond extract

add-ins after baking:
golden raisins, banana chips, choco chips (yes! I used up the little bit that was left of all of these)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl, toss the oats, nuts, wheat germ, and quinoa. In a separate small bowl, whisk the water, salt (if using), honey/agave, vegetable oil, and apple sauce. Stir the liquid into the nuts to coat thoroughly, then spread on a large rimmed baking sheet.

2. Bake for 40 minutes in the center of the oven, stirring every 10 minutes, until nearly dry. Turn off the oven and prop the door open halfway; let the granola cool in the oven, stirring (I only did this for a few minutes because it was too hot to leave the oven open). Toss the granola with the raisins, banana chips, and choco chips. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Want more granola recipes?
-Extreme Granola
-Homemade Granola Bars

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