Friday, March 12, 2010

Kathleen's Crunchy Granola

Preheat oven to 275I try to make healthy recipes most of the time.  I choose ingredients that have known health benefits to compose my meals.  Oats are known to lower cholesterol as well as being high in soluble fiber which is beneficial in many ways.  Granola therefore is quite a healthy breakfast or snack if you do not add too much fat or sugar to it.  This has no added fat other than that naturally occurring in the oats and nuts if you add them. Sugar on the other hand is a little high in this recipe, but if you would usually add sugar to your cereal or snack anyway, this may be a healthier alternative than something else you might choose.  The recipe comes from a cookbook by Kathleen Daelmans.  I usually don't add the dried fruit as I like it best with out.  Hickory nuts are the best in this, but if you don't have them, pecans or walnuts are good too.

Kathleen's Crunchy Granola

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c. water
4 t. pure vanilla
1 t. salt
8 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1-2 c. chopped nuts (hickory, pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts etc.or combination)
dried fruit, optional  (raisins, dried cherries, cranberries etc.)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Combine sugar and water in 4 c. glass bowl or cup.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Add salt and vanilla.  Pour over oats and nuts.  Bake on two parchment lined jellyroll pans for 45-60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes until lightly browned.  If using fruit, add when it comes out of the oven.
Cool thoroughly and store in airtight container.  I usually store in gallon-sized ziploc bag in freezer.  Eat with milk or yogurt or just the way it is!

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