Granola Made Properly-a Stock Pot List Item

Mr. Food It Yourself recently decided to start making his own granola. He wanted a tasty, portable snack to bring to work. Granola is both tasty and portable.  As Mr. Food It Yourself is quite adept in the kitchen I decided he would scratch this Stock Pot List item off for me. I definitely picked the right husband.

Granola has its roots in the, shall we say, interesting health trends of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  James T.  Ehler of FoodReference.com gives a brief and fascinating history on his website.

Today’s carbophopic “health” quackers have condemned granola for being high in sugar. To be fair, granola is high in sugar. However, being made with rolled oats and other whole grains, nuts, seeds and dry fruits it is a far healthier sweet snack than a typical pastry or even a graham cracker. (Those of you who read the FoodReference.com link are probably laughing now…) Oats and fruits are full of fiber, which both keep you feeling full and keep your digestive system running in a regular fashion. Nuts and seeds add protein and minerals to your diet. Granola is a perfectly acceptable part of most individuals’ DIYet when eaten in appropriately sized servings. I will defend this position before the most ardent Grain Deniers in all of Quackdom!

Here are some selected scenes of Mr. Food It Yourself making granola properly.

He started with this recipe from Alton Brown’s celebrated television show Good Eats.

Mr. Food It yourself chose a properly sophisticated assortment of raisins, chopped figs and chopped prunes for the fruit component of his granola. Here they are being separated for easy incorporation into the final mix. Dry fruits can get a little sticky.

The oats, wheat germ, almonds and pistachios (taking the place of sunflower seeds from the original recipe) went for a toasting in the oven. Why did he use pistachios? Mr. Food It Yourself explains, “I like ‘stashios”. Reason enough for the adjustment, I say.

While the nuts and grains are toasting and smelling awesome he got the sticky stuff together. Being fond of doing things properly, Mr. Food It Yourself chose to weigh the honey and brown sugar, as they were listed by weight in the recipe. Yes, these are ingredients that are usually measured by volume. However. The Proper Way to Follow A Recipe is to use the units the recipe notes. If the recipe says ounces, you weigh out ounces. If it says picolitres, you…well you probably look for another recipe because who has the means to accurately measure volume in picolitres? Seriously, don’t bother with that recipe. But I digress….

Honey, brown sugar, butter, salt and vanilla were heated ever so gently over low heat.

Be careful when you combine the oat/nut mixture, fruits, and honey syrup. As Mr. Food It Yourself was quick to note “When you poke dry oats with a stick they tend to poof”. Cautious mixing now will save you time cleaning the stove top later.

The whole batch was pressed into a well-buttered dish for the final baking.

The results were absolutely delicious! Just the smell wafting from the kitchen cheered up a bleak, rainy Sunday afternoon. One half cup of this sweet, crunchy treat along with a low-fat string cheese or cottage cheese snack cup will make up a perfect mini-meal for Mr. Food It Yourself’s work day.

Mr. Food It Yourself, tried to cut the granola into bars, but it proved just a bit too crumbly. That little hand stealing a lump of sweet cereal goodness had NOTHING to do with that, I promise.

I am very pleased with the way this granola turned out. Breakfast cereals, whether eaten as a snack or a meal, are almost always purchased in a ready-to-eat state these days. Making them from scratch, however, holds a certain satisfaction and allows for customization. Like any single food, granola really should not be the only thing you eat in a day. However, its whole grain, fruit and nut ingredients make it a perfectly acceptable element in the diaspora of the average DIYet. What is your favorite cereal treat? Share in the comments!

 

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