I improvised a batch of granola using walnuts, cinnamon, and maple syrup. It tastes perfect, and it’s my favorite combo so far. Unfortunately I didn’t take detailed notes of the recipe! I learned a lesson there, and once I realized how much I like this flavor I jotted down the formula the best I could remember:
This granola has a deep, sweet flavor. There’s something about adding milk to it that kicks it up to the next level. Next time I’d shorten the baking time a few minutes so it’s not so hard and crunchy.
I don’t normally have store-bought cereal in the pantry, but one day I found a great deal on a granola cereal. Every once in while I sprinkle it on some homemade yogurt and it’s OK, but it’s about half puffed rice so it’s pretty weak. Then the other day I just had a bowl of it with milk like a bowl of cereal. Man oh man, it was so sweet. Too sweet. It hit me that granola is just one more thing that’s so much better made from scratch than bought in the box.
I came up with this recipe based on a few specific ingredients I had in the house: coconut oil, walnuts, and boiled cider syrup. It’s not too sweet, and has a tangy hint of apple. And I liked using the coconut oil, which didn’t flavor the granola like coconut at all.
It’s very rare that we host overnight guests at our place, but this weekend we’ll have company for a few days. Of course this got me thinking about what the heck other people like to eat at home. This granola sounded like a crowd pleaser and a perfect item for the pantry.
Even though it’s summer, and this tastes like Fall in a bowl, that’s OK because it’s so good.
Maple Spiced Nut Granola with Pecans, Flax, and Sunflower Seeds
This batch turned out much too chewy for me because the raisins got even more dehydrated in the oven. Without a moist cake or muffin batter around them for protection, they turned into really tough little guys. Next time I’d definitely leave the raisins out and simply sprinkle them on top when I’m ready to eat.
I reduced the sweetener to 2 tablespoons with this batch, but that made it slightly less sweet than I’d like.
Maple Walnut Granola with Cinnamon, Raisins, and Flax Seeds
Lately I’ve been having a craving for cereal, but store bought cereal is on my list of things to avoid because of its processed nature. My husband was struck by a similar craving and suggested granola.
Homemade granola was the answer.
I found a super easy and healthy recipe for a basic granola formula and customized it for us. It went together very quickly and baked in just 14 minutes. Basically the hardest part is getting to the store to buy the mix-ins. Or maybe choosing which combination of mix-ins to make first.
Another plus with this formula is that it makes a small batch, so we’ll get to try different flavor combos more often.
The bulk bins at Winco are a gold mine for homemade granola, except for the dried fruit. The blueberries, cherries, and cranberries all had added sugar, so I’ll be sticking with raisins as my dried fruit mix-in for future flavors. But fresh or frozen fruits with no added sugars are an option.
This granola is GOOD. In addition to being delicious (not too sweet but definitely not bland and tasteless), the texture is wonderful. I have trouble with hard, tough, chewy textures, and store bought granola is typically one or all of these things. But this version is light and much easier to chew.
Honey Almond Granola with Sunflower Seeds and Flax
Awhile back, I made candied orange peel for the first time, with the intention of putting it in Stollen. Happily, there was enough for the Stollen as well as some Orangettes. I’m not bit on chocolate and fruit (chocolate-covered strawberries being the exception) and orange + chocolate has never sounded appetizing to me, so I didn’t know if I would like these. Which was fine, because they’re a gift for my mom and I thought it would be the sort of little confection she’d appreciate.
But after tasting one, I was converted. At least when it comes to homemade chocolate-dipped candied orange peel.
To make them, I melted 1/3 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, stirred in about 1/2 tsp vegetable oil, and then dipped the end of each peel. I set them on waxed paper in the refrigerator to harden.