Monday, April 16, 2012

The Paradox of Choice

I finally made my own granola yesterday, for the first time. Making granola is surprisingly confusing. There are just too many options. Sure, oats are a given (Quaker Oats of course!) but beyond that...

There are nuts.  Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Pistachios, Cashews, Coconut...
There are seeds.  Sunflower, Chia, Flax, Pepita...
There are dried fruits.  Cherries, Blueberries, Apricots, Currants, Raisins, Bananas...
There are sweeteners.  Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Agave, Honey, Rice Syrup...
There are fats.  Butter, Canola Oil, Grapeseed Oil...
There are flavorings.  Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cardamom...

Based on the above, there are 10,800 different granola flavoring options. At least I think that's right. Math was honestly never my strong suit.

Anyhow, that's a damn lot of options. It's enough to make you want to lay down and take a nap.

But I managed to power through.

Kate's First Granola

2 cups Quaker old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut 
1/3 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine first five ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. 

2. Place butter, honey, salt, and vanilla bean (including seeds) in a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Stir while heating. When butter is completely melted, remove the vanilla bean pods and pour the melted honey-butter over the oats and nuts and stuff. Toss until the grains and nuts and stuff are totally, evenly coated. 

3. Prepare a large rimmed baking pan by greasing it lightly with butter. Evenly-ish spread the granola mixture in the pan. 

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned, stirring at least once while baking. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. 

I realize this doesn't look materially browner than the uncooked shot, but I swear it is browned. See that piece of coconut in the middle of the picture? Totally golden.

The results here were good although I am looking forward to investigating other combinations. I'd really love to amp up the coconut flavor - it was pretty subtle here. More granola experiments to come!

1 comment:

Chrissy said...

This is the one I swear by. But I can't wait to try yours. :)