Where to find similar deliciousness to freeze-dried granola?
June 19, 2007 9:25 PM   Subscribe

I adore Mountain House granola with blueberries and milk. Where can I find similar deliciousness in a less-expensive package?

For some reason I have a real thing for freeze-dried Mountain House granola. It's a little chewy and a little crunchy and the blueberries hydrate up really nicely. Is there a cheaper alternative for daily consumption? I'd eat the stuff every day if I could.
posted by Addlepated to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know anything about Mountain House granola (I pack in much heavier and more tasty food on my hiking trips), but I do know about bulk foods.

Check out the bulk section at Whole Foods or Wild Oats, or better yet, your local farmer's market or co-op. They usually have a bazillion different varieties, and you can sneak in some dehydrated fruit, seeds, and nuts from the other bulk containers nearby. I've made some tasty breakfast treats this way.

My personal fav? Hemp granola with yogurt-covered raisins, bananna chips, flaxseed, and pumpkin seeds. Killer nutrition and killer poops.
posted by jstef at 9:31 PM on June 19, 2007


Steal this recipe. As Abbie Hoffman proclaims, 'Cooking is a vastly overrated skill. The following are a few all-purpose dishes that are easy to make, nutritional and cheap as mud pies. You can add or subtract many of the ingredients for variety.' And the first recipe he gives is for granola.

Now, I have never had Mountain House, I don't know what's in it, and I cannot warrant that this recipe is anything like it. But you know what? Granola is a very hackable food. It's not going to blow up if you add a new ingredient. As long as you've got oats and some kind of sugar syrup to bind it, and you toast it in an oven, it's still gonna be granola.

Now, dehydrating blueberries—that is a trick. I've seen it tried, in a good dehydrator, and the result was a small packet of seeds in a thin, airy shell. I think to dehydrate them properly, (a) you need a really fleshy, pulpy variety of berries to begin with, and (b) you need to wash the waxy 'bloom' off so the berries can shrink properly. Nota bene, I don't think a dehydrator is necessary—you should be able to do it in an oven just fine. See any book on food preserving and/or search the internet.
posted by eritain at 9:40 PM on June 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Make your own... here's a howto video from nytimes' Mark Bittman.
posted by acro at 9:54 PM on June 19, 2007


Freeze a bunch of blueberries (or buy frozen), move as many as you'll use in a few days to the fridge. No re-hydration necessary!
posted by hermitosis at 6:39 AM on June 20, 2007


You might want to look for Breadshop Blueberries n' Cream granola. This picture shows a box, but this is a brand that is often in the bulk bins at various grocery stores and co-ops (the label on the bin will most likely say something like BRDSHP BLUEBERRIES N' CREAM).

I've never had the Mountain House stuff, but I *think* this might be close to what you are looking for.
posted by stefnet at 6:40 AM on June 20, 2007


Mountain House, I think makes freeze dried camping food, so it's not precisely a standard granola recipe request. I really love their chili mac. Mmmm.

I've never had their granola, but maybe it would be helpful if you could say how it's different from regular granola?
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:54 AM on June 20, 2007


Instead of being a standard crunchy granola with milk poured over it, it ends up more mixed up, like a cold oatmeal. Only chewy-crunchier.
posted by Addlepated at 7:58 AM on June 20, 2007


Perhaps the oats are partially pre-cooked before they're freeze-dried, or something? You could try doing the same. This would be terrible with instant oats, because they'd go to mush, but if the oat were not totally flattened when it was rolled, that'd be what you're looking for. Actually, with that in place, pre-cooking might not have anything to do with it. Less work done on the oats at the mill means more for your mouth to enjoy.

The syrup can also have an effect on the crunchiness or chewiness. Basically, heating it hotter (I mean before you pour it on) will reduce the water content and make it crunchier (heading toward Cracker Jack territory), and fructose (honey, corn syrup, I think also molasses) will make it softer. If you can compromise the temperature and the sucrose/fructose ratio between those of a regular oatmeal and those of a taffy, you might get some goodness.

Or did you mean that the individual particles in the granola are more separate, less clumped, than in most? Hmm. 'Cause there, you're looking at reducing the amount of syrup, possibly stirring the granola more while it bakes, and/or throwing some wheat germ in there to dust it up and reduce the clumping.
posted by eritain at 3:13 AM on June 23, 2007


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