Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Millie's Crunchy, Fruity Granola

Brought to you by the monkey spoons...

and by this awesome cookbook.

Our Owen family gave the girls some cool cooking utensils for Christmas, and Millie put them to use our first week back. She and John made granola together, and it's so unhealthy that it practically melts in your mouth after you crunch it (that makes no sense, but it's true). The granola recipes I've made before are very dense, "granola-y," and, yes, healthier than this one, which has a phenomenal crunch and a really light taste. "Light" because the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of canola oil!!!! You heard it here first. Lotsa oil results in a light granola recipe.

I'm no diet guru, so you know what I mean, right? The texture is very crunchy and yet remains light and crisp because of the large amount of oil. There, now that that's settled, let's move on to the recipe.

3 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned oats)
2 cups combined seeds and chopped nuts (we had no nuts in the house, but sliced, toasted almonds would have been perfect)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup assorted dried fruit of small varieties, such as raisins, currants, cranberries, or blueberries (We used dried cranberries, which we purchased especially for the occasion)

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 13x 18 baking tray (or rimmed baking trays of any size, as long as the granola mixture is spread in a single layer).

2. Combine the oats, seeds and chopped nuts, salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl.

3. Combine the oil, honey, and vanilla extract and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and spread on the prepared tray.

4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden. (Stir once or twice during baking.)

5. Cool on the tray. When it has cooled down and become crunchy, add the dried fruit.

6. Eat plain or with milk. (Or on top of plain yogurt...or for dessert.)

Note: We added white chocolate chips to a small amount for this picture, then I took them out because it's better with just the fruit (and almonds, if you have them). They look festive in there, though.

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