Monday, May 23, 2005

Granola

My daughter and her husband are leaving tomorrow for a three week road trip. This can only mean one thing...HOMEMADE GRANOLA! When the kids were young and we took to the road, I invented this particular granola. It was all-purpose and came in handy on more than one occassion. I try to make it for any road trip any of us takes. It can be eaten like a snack with just your fingers, put in a bowl with any kind of milk, sprinkled on top of yogurt or applesauce or as a topping for a bowl of oatmeal or farina. It is decadent on top of ice cream. With no further adieu, I give you,

MOM'S GRANOLA

This makes a lot (about 30 cups) so I use a big roasting pan. If all you have is a small pan, roast it in batches.

1 cup canola oil
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons real vanilla (don't use the nasty fake stuff)
1 big box Total cereal (any flake cereal will work, we just like Total)
6 cups old fashioned oatmeal or mixed grain flake cereal
2 cups nuts (I use whatever I have on hand...walnuts, almonds, pecans)(NO peanuts)
1 cup seeds (I use sunflower, pumpkin and sometimes sesame seeds)
Dried fruit (Use what you like and as much as you like. We like raisins, dried berries like blueberries, cherries, dried apricots and peaches...if you have a Trader Joe's nearby, they have wonderful dried fruit)

Pour the canola oil and honey into a saucepan and heat only to the boiling point. Add vanilla and stir to mix. Find a big bowl to put all your ingredients in except the dried fruit. Pour the honey/oil mixture on top and stir to combine. Put in roasting pan and add the nuts on top. Leave them on top to roast.

Put pan in the preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Take out the granola and stir it (I use two spatulas). Put back in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out and stir again. Do this one more time until it looks lightly toasted then take it out of the oven and put on a hot pad or two. Add the dried fruit and stir. Let cool for a few minutes then stir again. Keep doing this until it cools then store in airtight containers. If you cover it while it is still warm, it will get soggy and you will be angry that you ruined this superb treat.

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