Friday, August 22, 2014

Recipe: Orange Maple Granola

Back-to-school season always puts me in the mood to make granola.  It's a great start to the day, and the kids love it.

My go-to recipe is my Grandma's granola.  I stand by her adage that if you are eating more than 1/4 c, you are overeating.  She was Swedish, and believed in "lagom" - not too much, not too little, but just enough.  It's really a wonderfully Swedish ideal .  1/4 c is the lagom amount of granola for breakfast.  Add some yogurt, and you've got a meal.
Granola in Grand Central Station

When we were recently in New York City, my mother and The Boy got parfaits for breakfast with pine nut honey walnut granola.  I wanted to give a nod to that, but make it my own.  I grabbed some sunflower seeds (because pine nuts are six times as expensive as sunflower seeds) and walnuts, but decided to use maple instead of honey, because I am a Vermonter, after all.

The Boy has an adoration for marmalade, so I used some in this granola.  I love how it turned out!

Granola is a wonderful thing to experiment with, and you can really play with the flavors a lot.  I hope that you give this variation a try!  I would love to get some pine nuts to make some granola at some point ... it really was delicious granola.

Orange Maple Granola

4 c rolled oats
1/2 c wheat germ
1/2 c dried milk
1 c sunflower seeds
1 c chopped walnuts
1 c shredded coconut (I used unsweetened - if you use sweetened, the granola would be sweeter. You could reduce the maple in that case)

1/4 c orange marmalade
1/4 c maple syrup (real syrup only, please!)
1/4 c vegetable oil

1/2 c dried fruit (I used King Arthur Flour's Fruitcake Fruit Blend)
1/4 c cinnamon chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 F.  Stir together the rolled oats, wheat germ, dried milk, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and coconut in a large mixing bowl.  Combine the marmalade, maple syrup, and vegetable oil.
Before mixing the liquid into the dry ingredients
Pour the liquid over the oat mixture and combine very well.

Spread on a large sheet pan (or two half sheet pans, or any combination of pans that will fit your mixture in a thin layer).  Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10-12 minutes.  Watch it carefully!  As soon as it looks toasted and smells good (and oh, does it smell good!), it is ready to take out of the oven.  Burned granola is a very sad thing.
A variation of Grandma's Granola, in a spoon my Daddy made for me.. 

Once the granola is removed from the oven, allow to cool before stirring in the dried fruit and cinnamon chips.  Transfer to well sealed containers and enjoy, 1/4 c at a time.

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