Friday, March 24, 2017

Granola.



In all my years of baking, I don’t think there’s any one food I’ve tinkered with more than granola. 

Actually, that’s a lie. Let me try again. Besides chocolate chip cookies, there's no food I've tinkered with more than granola.  

But granola! The goal: delicious, crunchy yet chunky enough to eat on its own, and not just dessert masquerading as a healthy snack. Doesn’t sound too hard. 

But… the best tasting is inevitably the worst for you (not to name names...Panera copycat recipe). Consistency should not be a trail mix of sugared oats and nuts and fruit. There should be chunks you can hold without crumbling.  

So, when I stumbled upon a granola so good the restaurant sends guests home with their own little prepackaged personal sized portion, I had to give it a try. And to document my trials so when I inevitably forget the recipe, I'm writing this post so it’s here waiting and ready. (And maybe, you, too, have been seeking that perfect granola recipe??)

Of course, I didn’t plan far enough in advance to get all the specific ingredients (details!), so I made due with what was in the house. Also, I tried to make it a bit healthier with less sugar and more nutrient-laden superfoods. 




I followed the directions to a T, just made the aforementioned mods to the ingredients. 

My Tweaked Version: 
2 ¾ cups rolled oats 
1 cup shelled pistachios I mixed chopped walnuts and slivered almonds
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips I used regular unsweetened shredded coconut
 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ cup light brown sugar I used just ¼ cup
 cup maple syrup
 cup extra virgin olive oil Coconut Oil 
¾ cup dried sour cherries Chopped dried apricots
+ chia seeds
+ flax seeds (I learned recently that your body can’t absorb the nutrients of in seed form; next time I’ll grind up first)

The verdict: 

It’s good. Maybe not the beeesssst ever, but worthy of a remake for sure. That said, I would use the recommended ingredients next time. I didn’t read the science behind the olive oil until after I made it, which apparently does some heavy lifting when it comes to the texture. And I'm sure the ingredients were carefully selected for a reason, so I'll trust the chefs. 

The kids gobbled it down and it lit up my yogurt, so that’s a win. Though my search for the perfect granola continues! 


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