Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Serious snack food

You know that point in the afternoon, 'long about 3:15, when you just can't quite face the next task?  This is what you need:
Suzanne’s Everything-but-the-Kitchen-Sink Granola

4 ½ cups oats (regular, not instant)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup each of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds
scant ½ cup of cashews (i got unsalted, for this)
¾ cup of dried cranberries (maybe more if they look thin - or
½ cup each of cranberries and raisins)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup softened butter +
1 cup honey +

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Toss dry ingredients well in a good-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, honey, and vanilla (you might pad the amounts of butter and honey called for – i did, since i’d added all those extra seeds and things, and it’ll help it hold together a bit). Add the honey mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. It’s very stiff to mix, so take your time or take turns (a mixer might mash up the seeds, but you could try it...).

Press the granola into a greased 9"x13" pan and bake for about 20 minutes. I gave it a few minutes to set up, but cut it when only partially cooled, which seemed to work fine for the most part. You’ll want smaller pieces that what you’d get with a store-bought granola bar, because this is much more dense. A cold glass of milk is perfect with it, especially while it’s still a little warm from the oven. 

This is my "default" version, but the great thing about this recipe (which i adapted from one i found on another blog, and i wish i'd saved that link, so i could give credit - if you recognize it, let me know...) is that it's completely mix-and-match-able.  I've made it with dried apples and crystallized ginger instead of chocolate and cranberries.  You could swap in different nuts, maybe pumpkin puree or peanut butter or applesauce, spices or other flavorings - i think almost anything might work.

It's great for an afternoon snack, because with all the whole grains and seeds, it sticks with you for a while, but has enough sweetness that you feel like you've had a treat.  I also love to take a tin of it along on a road trip!  (Yes, there are some crumbs, but not as many as you'd think, once it's cooled...)


vintage eye said...

This sounds delicious! :)

Fripperie said...

It's pretty tasty - but now i'm spoiled, and look down my nose at the store-bought stuff that's all puffed rice and air!