Granooooooola! Granoooooola!
April 4, 2008 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Granola me! How can I make really really tasty granola? What granola recipes do you love love love? Where the hell can I find brown rice syrup in Chicago?

I love granola, but I'm sick of spending $3.50 per box of the store bought time once a week. I want to make my own in large quantities to be stored in large airtight containers.

What can you tell me about making granola of my own? I have tried to make a granola recipe from Martha Stewart ("Six Mile Granola") with very unsuccessful results multiple times. Are there other recipes that you love and are not terribly difficult to make?

And I have never ever ever found brown rice syrup, whatever that is... Where could I find some in Chicago?
posted by santojulieta to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
 
Haven't tried it myself, but Alton Brown has a granola recipe that doesn't include anything like brown rice syrup and is rated 5 stars on foodnetwork.com.
posted by geeky at 8:09 AM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've posted this here before, but it was buried in a breakfast post, so I'll repost it here for you. This is very good and very easy to make; I make it all the time and now store-bought granola tastes fake and dry to me. The initial ingredients will set you back a bit, but they make a bunch of batches, and each batch makes a LOT of granola.

Granola

5 cups uncooked oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup broken walnut meats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup safflower oil
1 cup honey
1 cup raisins
1 cup currants

- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine first eight ingredients above and mix well.
- Heat oil and honey together in small pan until melted.
- Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.
- Spread mixture onto cookie sheets and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
- When cool, add raisins and currants.

Variations: I sometimes leave out the sesame seeds or sub cranberries, cherries, or berries (blue, rasp) for part of all of the raisins or currants. I also sometimes add a little ground flax seed - if you mix it in with the honey / oil, it sticks to the granola fairly well.
posted by boomchicka at 8:17 AM on April 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Whole Foods usually carries brown rice syrup, (which is lower on the Glycemic Index and thus better for you many people believe)

Generally the secret to making granola that most people will like is high quality fat, (as much as you can get away with including nuts), sugar of some sort and salt. The three basic food groups and also why it is not all that healthy as a large percentage of ones diet.
posted by flummox at 8:21 AM on April 4, 2008


Don't worry about a recipe. Just gather together your dry ingredients (minus the dried fruit) and mix them up in whatever proportions you desire. Heat up some butter (or oil) and honey (or brown sugar) in a pot until you have something syrupy, pour as much of it on your dry ingredients as you can justify while still calling the granola healthy, mix it up to coat and toss the whole thing in the oven (300 is fine) on or in something metal. Turn it over every 15 minutes or so until it starts to get a bit crunchy and then take it out. Throw in your dried fruit once it cools.
posted by ssg at 8:27 AM on April 4, 2008


smitten kitchen's granola recipe is a good one. No brown rice syrup.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:28 AM on April 4, 2008


Hmm. I just looked up the "Six Mile Granola" you mentioned and it doesn't seem all that unusual. What went wrong when you made it? It might just be something you're doing, not the recipe.
posted by boomchicka at 9:04 AM on April 4, 2008


This is my recipe. There is none better. Sometimes you have to cook it longer than it says, depending on your oven.
posted by jessamyn at 9:09 AM on April 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Whole Foods will have the brown rice syrup, but it's probably called for just because of the low glycemic index thing, not because it's crucial to delicious granola. You can safely sub in whatever liquid sweetener you want: maple syrup, honey, both.

I don't think any granola recipe should be too terribly difficult to make. The stovetop step in the Martha Stewart recipe is unnecessary fussiness; Alton Brown's and boomchicka's recipes both look good. (I don't like sesame or sunflower seeds in granola, but that doesn't matter; dry granola ingredients are completely tweakable to your specs.) The only tricky part is that you have to watch carefully while it bakes to make sure you don't cross the fine line between deliciously browned and burned. I'd stir it every seven minutes until it's done.
posted by clavicle at 9:24 AM on April 4, 2008


My mother's granola recipe, which is cribbed from somewhere or other. Delicious.

Granola with Yogurt and Fresh Fruit

2 cups buckwheat (cooked quinoa or amaranth can be substituted) ½ c vegetable oil
5 cups rolled oats 1 T. ground cinnamon
2 cups oat bran 2 T vanilla extract
1 c shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut 1 ½ c chopped dried apricots
½ c unsalted sunflower seeds 1 ½ c chopped dried prunes
1 c unsalted peanuts, measured then chopped 1 c dried banana, broken up if necessary
1 c whole unsalted almonds, measured then chopped 1 ½ c chopped dried papaya
1 c honey 1 ½ c sultana raisins
Accompaniments
yogurt
your choice of fresh berries

Preheat the oven to 325°.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the dried fruit and raisins.
Divide the mixture into thirds and spread on a separate baking sheet. Place all the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden, turning once. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for approximately 2 hours.

When the mixture has cooled, return to bowl and toss with the dried fruit and raisins.

Store granola in an airtight container for up to 1 month. If making this much granola seems excessive, you can have the recipe.

If your supermarket doesn’t stock buckwheat – most don’t – look for it in a health food or bulk food store. Quinoa and amaranth are readily available in most grocery and health food stores.

variations:
**** doesn’t like papaya and I don’t like banana chips so I omit them and add some dried mango instead. Also add pumpkin seeds.
I don’t use baking sheets – they don’t have sides and you need sides to turn it without it going all over the place.
posted by cmyr at 9:32 AM on April 4, 2008


The stovetop step in the Martha Stewart recipe is unnecessary fussiness

Mine has a stovetop step too; I've tried skipping it, but you kinda have to heat the honey for it to combine easily with the dry ingredients. I definitely don't boil it, which is what's suggested in the MS recipe; I just heat it until it's liquid enough to stir together with the oil.
posted by boomchicka at 9:39 AM on April 4, 2008


I don't have it with me here at work, but the Moosewood New Classics cookbook (available at practically any public library) has a great recipe. I think the main recipe is for "Maple Nut Granola" but it also includes tons of recommendations for how to make substitutions. The best things to switch around for different flavors are the nuts, dried fruits, and spices. My personal favorite combo uses cinnamon, almonds, and dried cherries. Yummy.
posted by vytae at 9:41 AM on April 4, 2008


I'd stir it every seven minutes until it's done

I don't stir mine at all. It's too sticky and it's an unnecessary step. I just break it up at the end - much less fuss and just as good of a result.
posted by boomchicka at 9:41 AM on April 4, 2008


This video from the NYT on making granola might work for you.
posted by acro at 9:44 AM on April 4, 2008


Yay! I love that you all love granola. :)

I had trouble with the Six Mile Granola not being crispy at all. That's what I love about granola is the crunch!
posted by santojulieta at 9:49 AM on April 4, 2008


Carob molasses is strangely tasty and nutritious.
posted by hortense at 9:50 AM on April 4, 2008


I had trouble with the Six Mile Granola not being crispy at all. That's what I love about granola is the crunch!

Oh - my recipe isn't super crispy either, so you might not like it. Maybe you could bake it a lower temp for a longer time, to crisp it up without burning it.
posted by boomchicka at 10:06 AM on April 4, 2008


I think as long as you have some kind of fat in the mix if you keep baking it at a lowish temperature (low 300s) it'll eventually get crisp.

I mix molasses, maple syrup, and water and microwave it, then mix in some vegetable oil. Toss with oats and nuts (non-instant oats work better but sometimes I accidentally buy instant and that works too), spread on cookie sheet, bake until brown and crisp at 325 - I usually let it go around an hour, it kinda depends on the ratio of liquid:oats you start with.
posted by yarrow at 10:14 AM on April 4, 2008


I use jessamyn's recipe, sometimes with tiny variations, and I call it "Jessamyn's lame-no-more granola." I strongly recommend trying it.
posted by Riverine at 12:27 PM on April 4, 2008


And a tip: bake it on parchment paper and you won't have to soak the pan for ages.
posted by Riverine at 12:28 PM on April 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love Alton Brown's granola bar recipe. It's slightly different from his granola recipe mentioned earlier. I've made it several times, both as bars and as granola. It's delish either way, and quick. Toasting the oats, wheat germ and sliced almonds makes a world of difference.

I've made some minor changes though. I grind up the oats in a food processor before toasting, I use agave nectar instead of honey (have used maple syrup), add a bit more butter, as well as peanut butter. I use a dried fruit mix (pineapple, papaya, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries). Mini chocolate chips are tasty in it, too.
posted by socrateaser at 2:59 PM on April 4, 2008


My favorite granola recipe is my mom's from her hippie days. It is nearly foolproof and endlessly adaptable. My two favorite tricks in the recipes are 1). measure your honey in the same measuring cup that you measured out your oil, as it makes it a whole lot easier to get out of the cup and 2). never stir in the fruit until after you've baked the granola. I wrote about it last summer on Slashfood.
posted by Marusula at 8:52 PM on April 4, 2008


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