Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Favorite Pantry Staple -- Granola!!

Well, I'm feeling a little out of touch, but I'm still here. And I'm still thinking about oats. In fact, I made a huge batch of Mama's Bullet-Proof Waffles this morning! They turned out great... golden, crisp, and yummy.

But today, I'm thinking about granola. There are many mornings my breakfast consists of two simple, homemade, food items: granola and yogurt. The secret to making my granola is very unpredictable. Are you ready? It's not something you'd ever guess... I use my crockpot! Otherwise known as a slow-cooker. Most kitchens are equipped with one. I know I bought mine for the sole purpose of birthing my babies at home. The midwives wanted a crockpot with warm cloths and water, ready for... well... ready for all the things one needs wet, warm cloths for during a birth.

Anyhow, these days, I use my slow-cooker for making granola! Without further delay or introduction, I give you....

There's no fancy or clever name for this recipe. It's just granola, after all. First, get out a big slow-cooker (mine's a 6-quart), sans lid, and lightly oil the crock Next, dump all the dry ingredients into the crock:

Give them a healthy stir to mix them all up:

Then, get out your favorite measuring utensil for finicky liquids (I use a very old "metric wonder cup" from Pampered Chef). Okay... I confess, I got mine at a garage sale and have been using it for 10 years, now! So much so that the markings are gone and I use it upside down most of the time. That said, here is the first link that came up when I googled "Metric Wonder Cup." Obviously, I have no affiliation here, just giving you a source if you want one. Measure all of the liquid ingredients into the cup. Mine's a two-cup measure, so I can do the oil, vanilla, and rice syrup at the same time!

Now, add the liquids to the crock and give everything a very good stir. In other words, combine all these ingredients with a nice, large, wooden spoon.

It should look something like the following picture:

Cook on "High" for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. I stir about every 20 minutes. This usually isn't a problem, since I'm almost always making yogurt and some other staple at the same time. Meaning I'm in the kitchen a LOT. We seem to run out of these items all at the same time! Make sure you do NOT use a lid! It sweats and the granola would never get dry enough.

After the initial 1.5 hours on "High," switch to "Low" and cook for an additional 2 hours, still stirring occasionally. After the cooking is over, pour the granola out onto a big cookie sheet or tray and let it cool. Store for up to two weeks (it won't last that long...) in an airtight container. Here it is on my tray:

And here's a close-up of the granola, so appetizing, I'll bet you want to take a bite right now!

Enjoy! Next time..... Energy Bars! I hope you'll tune in!

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