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back to basics

I’ll admit it, I used to make fun of people who ate granola. I know, I know! How rude, right? But I never understood the logic behind it. The recipes that I have seen aren’t particularly healthy. I mean, have you seen the sugar content on some of these things? It’s nuts. You might as well have a bowl of ice cream. On top of that, you should really only have a small handful of the stuff because it is so nutritionally and calorically dense. My whole thought process is, I’d rather eat something more substantial than granola.

But, after testing this recipe out, I must confess something. You are now looking at a granola-believer. I never thought the day would come.

I did my research before attempting my first ever granola. Should I go the extra sweet route, making it more like dessert? Or should I make a nice small snack pack, one that won’t send my blood sugar spiking? Turns out, type in the words “Granola recipe” and a plethora of links pop up. Seems like everyone AND their mom has their own signature granola mix. When did everyone start chomping on almonds and oats and where have I been?!

Well, after the overwhelming response, I turned to my under-appreciated book, Martha Stewart: The New Classics. Frankly, this book doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves because of two things. First, I bake more than I cook, and if I bake I normally turn to more trusty resources. Secondly, this book lacks pictures in a big way. I am a visual person. Throw a series of pictures in a book, and you’d sell it to me. But without a visual representation of the recipe, it’s hard to pique my attention. But I fully plan on trying out this book more, especially since I paid a hefty price for it.

The small amount of sugar in this mix is the reason why this recipe works for me. You only use a ¼ cup of honey, which is really not that much but sweetens it ever-so lightly. Also, the recipe uses vegetable oil, not butter, which makes my heart thankful. Throw in some dried cranberries and some raisins that I’ve been craving recently and my heart is yours.

I omitted the shredded coconut, although I recommend you sticking with them because they give a needed sweet crunch to the mix. Otherwise, you might be left wanting more something. Also, I left the flaxseed out which I know is one of the main players in this recipe but I just don’t like the texture of flaxseed. I took a big handful of this stuff with me on Tuesday since I anticipated a long night in the design lab and sure enough, this stuff kept me satisfied all day long. The oats and almonds really stand out in this recipe.

I got all excited this morning too when I realized I had some beloved Fage yogurt in my fridge. Kristen from Our Kitchen Sink understands my love for this stuff, so I’m sure she understands my adoration for this thick and tangy yogurt. It worked beautifully with my crunchy granola and some chopped up bananas. A yummy way to start off my day, if I do say so myself!

Other notable granola mentions that I refer to and used as inspiration: Linda from ButterSugarFlour made Nigella Lawson’s granola recipe and it looks mighty delicious. Also Joy from Joy the Baker experimented with different mixes in her granola so check that out as well. Lastly, Molly at Orangette has a delictable granola concoction all the way from the beautiful City of Lights (that’s Paris for you all non-travelers out there) that you should try as well.

Granola with Flaxseed
from Martha Stewart: The New Classics

Ingredients:
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (I left this out)
3/4 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) sliced blanched almonds (I used whole)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon ground golden flaxseed (from about 1 1/2 teaspoons whole)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss together oats, coconut, and almonds in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together vegetable oil and honey in a small bowl; stir into oats mixture. Spread out oats mixture on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 17 to 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; toss with flaxseed oil. Let cool completely. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in dried cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds, and ground flaxseed.

Yields about 5 and 1/2 cups.

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May 22, 2008 - 10:59 am

Kristin at The Kitchen Sink - Now that is what I call a parfait! And with Fage? Be still my beating heart. This recipe looks great, too. I’ve been looking for ways to reduce the sugar in mine. I should give this a try.

May 22, 2008 - 1:52 pm

Kiki - I’m a fan of Ina Garten’s Cherry Almond granola which is very similar to this recipe. I’ll have to try this one out- I like that it has the sunflower and flax seeds in it.

May 23, 2008 - 4:03 am

uduzit - Once again I see, in such a wonderful way, that life doesn’t need a lot of sugar to be sweet. Smiles. ET

May 23, 2008 - 7:52 am

Meena - I used to hate Granola too, until I saw Ina’s recipe of a parfait. Now I have to have it atleast once a week! Your pictures are simply gorgeous!

May 23, 2008 - 12:13 pm

rachel - This looks lovely!

May 23, 2008 - 7:37 pm

steph - i love granola (what i can’t stand is muesli)! granola and yogurt with some type of fruit, currently rhubarb compote, is my breakfast almost every day. this looks like one i’d like for sure!

May 24, 2008 - 10:36 am

rkhooks - J’adore Granola! The only problem is when I make it, is that I can’t stop eating it until it’s all gone. It’s just way too moreish!

May 25, 2008 - 1:23 pm

Dana - I’m obsessed with granola and Fage yogurt! Drizzled with a little honey, it’s heaven!

May 25, 2008 - 5:11 pm

carli - nomnomnomnom
i don’t like granola that much
but it looks delicious!

May 25, 2008 - 9:27 pm

eliza - very nice, Amanda! i love to make granola too & i agree with you that even though flaxseed is good for the body, the taste isn’t the best.

May 29, 2008 - 7:29 am

Caroline - I have been on such a granola kick. And, granola layered up with creamy and fruity things. Yumm

August 2, 2008 - 12:00 pm

Tempting! Links to Fabulous Food and Terrific Hints « A Life (Time) of Cooking - [...] some Apple, Ginger, Mint Iced Tea. Sip it on the terrace. From Steamy Kitchen. Or try some Moroccan Mint Tea, from [...]

September 7, 2008 - 1:07 pm

wonderment » Blog Archive » Variations on Granola - [...] Granola with Flaxseed [...]

November 7, 2010 - 10:07 am

Nigella Lawson - [...] back to basics « Slow Like Honey [...]

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