Homemade Granola!

17 Sep

One of my new favorite things for breakfast is yogurt and granola, especially during the week. I think it’s just filling enough and not as fattening as other stuff I tend to eat a lot of for breakfast. I will always have a soft spot for breakfast burritos, and steak biscuits from Bojangles – ohh, Bojangles steak biscuits how I do love thee. That’s always a must-have when I go back to NC. Sure do wish more Bojangles were around, but with my semi-obsession, it’s probably a good thing they’re not. Besides, yogurt and granola is a great (and much healthier) alternative.

So a friend was recently visiting here in Chicago and I was also telling her how much I’ve come to love granola. Well, lo and behold – dang if she didn’t find a recipe for granola in the Tribune during her visit here! So we set out to make a batch, and it has to be one of the quickest and easiest things I’ve ever made.

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Homemade Granola

Granola Ingredients for Success

The recipe can be found here – or below. We started out heating up some brown sugar, butter and maple syrup. We let this get to a quick boil, just long enough to heat it thoroughly. Apparently, you have to watch this or it will bubble over – no bueno.

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Homemade Granola

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Homemade Granola

While this was heating, we combined a bunch of rolled oats, sliced almonds and chopped pecans, in a large bowl and made a little well in the center. The recipe also calls for pumpkin seeds, of which I had NONE – so we actually made this without the seeds. But I expect you can add whatever your little heart desires as well – raisins, walnuts, coconut, you can go crazy in Granola Town!

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Homemade Granola

Mixin' It Up in Granola Town!

So once the maple syrup and butter mixture was right at boiling and thoroughly combined, we mixed it in to the dry ingredients.Once it was all stirred up and ooey-gooey – we spread it out over a baking sheet with sides that was lined with parchment paper. You can spread it out over 2 pans if needed, but I just went with the one, thinking it was large enough.

Bake the granola at 300 and stir every so often for about 25-35ish minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it starts smelling toasty and is golden brown and dry. Shouldn’t be gooey at all. And you’ll be able to see which parts are still lighter when you go to stir it up. So, our cooking exercise was a success!

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Homemade Granola

Oven Fresh Granola

It’s that easy!

Grazing in The City - Chicago - Homemade Granola

You Need to Eat Better

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick – damn!) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff)
  • 3 tbsp water
Directions
Mix together the oats, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Make a little well in the center. Set aside. In a small saucepan, add the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and water. Bring to a boil – better watch closely as the syrup will boil over and you KNOW that’s a mess. Once the mixture is melted and fully combined, pour into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir it all up gently until everything is well coated.
Divide the mixture evenly between 2 rimmed baking pans lined in parchment paper. Or, if you’re like me – just add it all into the largest pan you have and hope it comes out ok and evenly. Bake at 300 and stir it around every 15 minutes or so, until golden brown and dry. This should take around 25-35ish minutes. You want it a nice toasty brown, but not brittle – you should know it when you see it. Let it cool completely and enjoy at your leisure!
Store in an airtight container – it should keep at room temp for a couple weeks, even longer in the fridge.
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