Friday, February 10, 2006

Basic Stovetop Granola Recipe

3 cups rolled flakes
(quinoa, oats, barley, wheat, brown rice, or a combination)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
(walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, or a combination)

1/2 cup seeds
(sesame, flax, poppy, pumpkin, sunflower, or a combination)

1/2 cup dried shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice
(raisins, currants, cranberries, apple, mango, apricot, pear, pineapple, or a combination)

Use a non-stick skillet, at least 10 inches round, with high sides. (If you don't have a skillet this big, use a smaller one and prepare the granola in two batches.)

Into the cold skillet place the flakes, nuts, seeds, coconut, and cinnamon, and mix well. Blend the oil, syrup, and vanilla together in a cup. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients in the skillet, stirring well to blend.

Turn the heat under the skillet to medium high. Toast the mixture, stirring constantly, until the flakes and nuts are crispy and browned, the seeds start to pop, and the maple syrup smells like burnt sugar -- but be careful not to let the mixture burn! Toasting should take no more than five to seven minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in the dried fruits. Let the granola rest in the skillet to cool, stirring it occasionally to break up any clumps. When it cools to room temperature, transfer the granola to a glass or plastic storage container with a tight-fitting lid.

Granola can be refrigerated for about a month, or frozen or about two months. Serve with milk (soy, rice, or almond) or the juice of your choice.

About 8 servings.

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