Cookin’ Cowgirl’s Favorite Granola

  • Breakfasthealthy kitchenRecipe
  • Here’s a math problem for you: If Cookin’ Cowgirl made 8 cups of granola and there are only 2 1/2 cups left but Hunter Hann ate about 1/4 cup after dinner just to test it out, how many cups of granola did Cookin’ Cowgirl eat in one day?

    I don’t wanna talk about it. I never was very good at math.

    My Favorite Granola

    I’ve made several batches of granola lately and I’ve got it down to exactly how I like it. This is my favorite BASIC granola recipe. I have several recipes on the blog already that are great and I’m sure I’ll come up with more that I love, but this one is a great basic.

    Make sure to read my tips below because I’ve got some good info for you down there. Like I said, I’ve made several batches of this stuff so I know what works. Trust me; I’m a professional.

    My favorite Granola
    makes about 8 cups
    3 C rolled oats {old fashioned, not quick-cooking}
    1 C TVP {textured vegetable protein}
    1/2 C seasme seeds
    1/4 C brown flax seeds
    1/4 C flax seed meal
    1 C nuts {I like sliced almonds and chopped pecans}
    1/2 C peeled coconut, roughly chopped
    1/4 C canola oil
    1/4 C + 1 T honey
    1 T brown sugar
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    2/3 C unsweetened dried fruit {cherries, blueberries, strawberries blend}

    Preheat oven to 250º and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick foil. In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. The only thing you will not add to the mix is the dried fruit. You will only add that after the granola has baked.

    Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use your hands to mix everything together. It’s the best part! Spread 1/2 of the granola onto each prepared baking sheet.
    Bake granola for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Take out when it’s golden brown and the smell of cinnamon-vanilla goodness has over come your kitchen. Last, add the dried fruit.

    Let cool completely before eating {yeah right!} or storing {if there’s any left!}. Granola will keep for up to 2 weeks in an air tight container {I’m laughing as I’m writing this! I think that is more for if you make a quadruple batch}.

    ~ Cookin’ Cowgirl’s Basic Granola Tips ~
     
    Unsweetened dried fruit: It is a little harder to find, but it makes a big difference in the amount of sugar you are adding to your granola. Like 16g of sugar per serving compared to anywhere from 23-29g per serving. And this recipe has 2 servings, so don’t forget to double that! Trader Joe’s sells some unsweetened {no sugar added} varieties and the Crasins brand now has a reduced sugar product also.

    Canola oil: I’ve tried a few different types of oil {vegetable, extra virgin olive, grape seed} and I think canola is the best for making granola. In my opinion, it leaves the least amount of taste on the ingredients and is my oil of choice.
    Flax seed meal: This stuff makes a great “binder” for the other ingredients and helps hold everything together. You can also use wheat germ for this purpose.
    TVP {textured vegetable protein}: My mom has been using this stuff for years and it is so healthy. It has 12 g of protein per 1/4 C! It contains no fat and has 4g of fiber per serving. It adds a nice crunchy texture to granola and in my opinion is a must now. Bob’s Red Mill brand carries this product and it can be found at most grocery stores now plus at specialty health food stores.
    Cooking temperature: I have a gas oven and I think it cooks a little hotter than most ovens. For this reason, I bake my granola at 250º F. If your oven is more normal than mine, you could try 275º-300º F but I wouldn’t go hotter than that. I think granola should be baked “low and slow” so that it gives all the flavors a chance to marry together and so everything can get golden brown.
    Peeled coconut: I use peeled coconut instead of shredded because if I’m going to use coconut, I want to be able to taste it. I have found that shredded coconut just get’s kind of over powered in the big mix of things so I like using the bigger pieces.
    Nuts and Seeds: This is all about preference. Pick out what YOU like. Use one kind or several. Don’t worry about buying roasted or salted nuts or seeds. You are going to be adding a little salt to your granola to give it wonderful flavor so your nuts and seeds don’t need the extra salt. Also, you will be baking them for 45 minutes so they do not need to be roasted ahead of time. The nice thing is that if you buy your nuts and seeds “raw,” or unsalted and not roasted, they will also be cheaper. Which brings me to my last tip…
    Buy in Bulk: If you can. It can be so much cheaper for you! Whole Foods has a great bulk section as well as several local grocery stores. This also gives you a chance to try out new things with out the commitment of having a ton of something leftover that you might not really like.

    I have a few other fun granola recipes for you to try if you’re interested. These two are unique because I use fruit puree instead of a lot of oil to bind everything together so they are very low fat. Try my Pumpkin Cranberry Granola if you’re feeling fally, or my Apple Pie Granola with Cherries and Walnuts.
    What are YOUR favorite granola ingredients?

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04549767399322024293 Alice

      hahahaha! i love your posts, and your recipes! they alway sound and look so yummy!

      • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16973924525398266766 Cookin’ Cowgirl

        Thanks, Alice :)

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14389191114283752348 Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts

      Sounds like a quadruple batch would be a good way to go!

      • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16973924525398266766 Cookin’ Cowgirl

        Yeah, but I don’t even think THAT would last very long! Dang it!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16009807394530816882 Macaroni and Cheesecake

      This looks like a great mix of granola!