My toddler has a number of favorite foods, but I think the one that tops her list is oatmeal. I have to confess though, she doesn't get it from her father. No friends, my husband is sadly not an oatmeal fan (gasp!). He'll eat it if it's the only thing available, if it's goopy and thick rather than creamy, he even enjoys it on occasion, and out of love and service I find him at the stove (or microwave) making it for the babe and I certain mornings. But as an everyday breakfast it's just too much, or rather not enough. I guess I can put myself in his shoes, trying to understand why something so comforting and gentle to start your day can be the very opposite of what you want... hmm. Gratefully there are options other than just stovetop oatmeal, although when husband + I change it up, baby is still calling out for her bowl of constance.
This is for all of you looking for variety.
I shared my old roomie's tried and true granola recipe with you last April, but this version is different in the types of oil and sweetener, ratio of sweetener to oil, and the use of puffed grains over oats because they are much easier for the little one to chew. The added spices give it a hint of warmth that I love on a chilly morning, and the aroma that fills the house as it bakes is heavenly. The only bad thing about making my own granola is that I nibble a little too much of it as it cools; baby especially loves the big corn puffs. Of course it's all part of the fun, but then we've run out of granola all too soon. Gratefully this is a back of my hand kind of recipe. After making it a few times you mightn't need to refer to the recipe much after, which will give you the courage to branch out, make your own changes and create your perfect granola.
granola with poofs
2/3 - 3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
3 - 4 Tablespoons coconut oil, liquid
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 - 4 cups puffed grains (kamut, rice, millet, amaranth, corn, wheat, etc)
1 1/2 - 2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons ground flax
1 - 2 Tablespoons wheat germ
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried fruit (blueberries, cherries, raisins, etc)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees fahrenheit.
Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Mix the dry ingredients well. Gently pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and fold until evenly coated. Pour into a baking sheet with slightly raised sides and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, turning once halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Add the dried fruit and store in an airtight container.
serve with milk, or yogurt, eat plain, or with fruit. dried, fresh and frozen will work.
chilly morning tip: combine granola and milk together in a bowl, microwave for a minute or so = instant oatmeal.
- if you use the lesser measurements for grains and rolled oats, use the lesser amount of maple syrup
- the amounts of oats and puffed grains re.ally doesn't matter much, as long as they add up to around 5 cups.
- if you want your granola to stick together in bigger clumps, add 1 - 2 Tablespoons more of maple syrup.
- feel free to play with types of grains, oils, nuts and fruit. You could even try different extracts (almond, etc) It's really a free for all kind of recipe, as every granola recipe is.
- one of the photographs shows the dried fruit combined with ingredients before baking, which sometimes I do. Just be sure to lower the temperature even more and turning the granola more often so they don't scorch. It's much easier to just add the dried fruits at the end.
- if you want granola without dried fruit, by all means leave it out. We do that when using it for parfaits.