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Look at me, all domestic and stuff.

October 5, 2008

So, I started making granola from scratch earlier this year. Not because I’m a health freak, not because I want to win some kind of homemaker-of-the-year award, but because it tastes good and I thought it might be a good way to get some of the benefits of oatmeal without always having to eat actual oatmeal. Because I like oatmeal, but… well sometimes I don’t feel like fixing it. Or I want something crunchy.

I am a big fan of the Food Network, and one of the original shows that got me hooked on it is “Good Eats” with Alton Brown. That guy is great. Is there an Alton Brown fan club? Because I like him. Anyway, there was an episode that I saw where Alton demonstrated how to make granola… and I liked it, but there were a few things I wanted to tweak to cut down the sugar and to suit my tastes a little better. So I tweaked those things… and several batches of crunchy goodness later, the Doolittle Test Kitchen is ready to release this fabulous recipe for reduced sugar Almond-Oat Granola. I just came up with that name myself as I typed it right there. Wow.

Please note, this makes a pretty nice large batch… the original recipe was half these amounts, but I double it because my family goes through this stuff fairly quickly.

6 cups old fashioned oats
~2 cups sliced almonds (I buy a 16 oz bag and use half)
1.5 C coconut flakes (sweetened or not, to your taste)
6T brown sugar
6T granulated Splenda
3/4C sugar free maple syrup (I use a store brand that has Splenda in it)
1/2C vegetable oil
1.5 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 250º.  Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine syrup, oil and salt in another bowl, then add wet to dry and mix well with hands. Spread onto cookie sheets and bake for about 1 hr 15 minutes. My best results have been when I spread the granola but did not pack it down… then I only stir once near the end of baking to preserve as many clusters as possible. When bake time is up I stir it, then put pans back in oven (which is now turned off) and let it start to cool down in there — this helps it maintain its crispiness. Store in an airtight container.

If any of you happen to try this recipe and want to give me feedback, I’d love to hear it.

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10 comments

  1. Ummmm! This recipe sounds yummy good. I’ll cut it in half and try it. Alton Brown rules (the kitchen)! Have you ever tried fruit in your granola? I’m particularly fond of dried cranberries, but I think it might be wise to add them at the end so that they don’t turn into buckshot. Let me know if you have had any experience with dried fruit in your granola.


  2. Unk,
    Yes, I love dried cranberries and I have added them to my granola when I”m ready to put it in the bowl and eat it. I have also taken some of the granola and made a sort of trail mix by bagging some up with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and yogurt raisins or other dried fruit. It’s yummy!
    Laura


  3. I just finished making a batch of this an hour ago. Your dad had finished the latest batch – he loves it. He adds some of it to his Cheerios, or to his regular oatmeal (after he has cooked it), and usually adds dried cranberries to the oatmeal before cooking that. I agree that baking it with the fruit already mixed would probably be too much for the fruit.


  4. In my opinion, granola is the next best thing to cooked oatmeal, which I love. It’s great that all your family enjoy it, and homemade is the best by far. Here in humid Hawaii, it gets stale quickly, so I don’t make it often. Try adding 1/3 cup of raw sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and/or wheat germ as well as the almonds for more layers of flavor. I also like cinnamon in mine. You go, girl, eat and stay healthy!


  5. I’ll have to try this one. I had to laugh when you said it was a big recipe and that you had doubled the original because when I make granola, I usually start with 12 cups of oats! I’m not a fan of coconut (think Almond Joy and Mounds–yuck) but I do love coconut in my granola.
    Speaking of granola, I bought a seasonal box of granola cereal that has pumpkin seeds in it and boy, is it great! Do you like yogurt with your granola?


  6. Well, the only problem I see with this recipe is that it doesn’t exceed the 100 grams of sugar that I like in every meal. If I use “real” maple syrup does that keep it healthy? Never mind that a teaspoon of maple syrup has about 200 calories. But, it is natural. That has to count for something.


  7. DD – you can always do the full sugar version if you like. The original recipe called for all brown sugar, real maple syrup… and actually you can use any nuts you like. I just think the sliced almonds work best especially if you eat it as cereal.

    You can also dump a couple spoonfuls of white sugar on top before you eat it, to get your sugar high more quickly!

    Guinever – I usually just eat my granola with milk. I like yogurt but usually just eat it by itself. And Mounds is my favorite candy bar of all time, so watch it! 🙂


  8. well, I do like Girl Scout Samoa’s with coconut and the ice cream with those cookies in it is probably the best ice cream ever, even beating out Ben and Jerry’s phish food. So this was originally about granola–sorry to go off on coconut!


  9. Guinever, thanks for calling them “Samoas” I don’t think they call them that anymore, do they? I think they’ve been calling them “carmel delites” for a long time now. I remember selling those things door to door back in the day… I love those cookies!


  10. Made a batch of your granola yesterday – although I did use the real sugar and syrup – and it’s very good. Sasha (13 months old) ate it like candy. Thanks for the recipe!



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