The Return of the Granola!

April 4, 2011

Growing up, my mom always made homemade Granola. She would tell me that, “It’s not just good tasting, it’s good for you!” Whenever it was in the oven cooking I would always get so excited, excited enough to fly away like a bird, because I knew another fresh batch was on the way to my stomach. When I heard that we would be making Granola in cooking class I was so thrilled. I woke up early on Thursday morning with the wonderful knowledge that I did not have to eat breakfast because I knew a scrumptious creation made in the Woodlawn Kitchen was in store. I had no idea how to make Granola before, but I soon became very enlightened as my morning began.

Pile o' Granola

– I quickly learned that the first step in starting the granola making process was to preheat the oven to 325 degrees farenheit (like many other recipes) and then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

We then measured and set out our mis en place of all the different ingredients we needed:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablesoppns honey
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • scant 1/4 cup pecans
  • scant 1/4 cup whole hazelnuts
  • scant 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • scant 1/4 cup dried cherries (or a little less)

This however, was not as easy as it always seems. We were all absolutely dying to start cooking this granola and so we were quickly getting everything ready so we could begin! As Alexa was trying to open the cute little bag of hazelnuts, somehow the bag exploded and before we knew it there were hazelnuts flying everwhere! I did not even know such as small bag could fit so many! It was a grand fiasco (for a small kitchen anyways). Many laughs later, we all came together to start saving as many as we could.

If you look real close, you can see the explosion.

The experience of scooping and saving was very comical. We all pitched in to help clean up the mess (or the “big bang”, as some may like to call it). Being the smart people we are, we were able to save just enough for our recipes to be complete! Thank goodness for that!

So after all of that madness we were finally able to start. Excitement building and our stomachs growling we made sure to follow the directions in order to make the perfect breakfast.

The directions are as follows:

– First, in a large bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt.

– Then, in a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk the ingredients until they are completely combined. (Mmm, it is already starting to look good)

– Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them: Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the sweet honey mixture.

This was definitely one of the most fun and messy parts of the process, do not be afraid to get your hands covered in the sugar-honey-oats combo. Besides, it is all part of the experience!

Mixing the granola. It was messy!

– Next, pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there to make a lovely texture. (It may only take up half of the baking sheet. Double the recipe to fill the baking sheet.)

– Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the groanola from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip it. Sprinkle the almonds over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.

– Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.

We all wanted some so bad. We were so close and yet…so far (or so it seemed). Only about 10 minutes more! There was a buzz in the room truly like none other, as we restlessly waited.

– Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the granola from the oven. Let cool completely. Sprinkle the raisins and cherries over the granola.

Let me tell you. There was a pretty flippin’ amazing aroma in the kitchen by this point. Everyone’s mouths were watering like crazy as we waited in anticipation. I honestly never knew making granola could be so exciting. I surprised myself. We then carefully chopped up the delicious-looking yellow bananas and tested out the mysterious vanilla flavored Greek yogurt while we waited for the granola to cool, making sure to use proper chopping techniques and tasting skills.

Banana choppin'.

After what seemed like forever…finally!!!! There it was, ready to eat, and so we all got bowls, filled them with vanilla yogurt and bananas and prepared to dig in. We each got a nice, hearty spoonful of granola on top of everything. Those of us who were feeling a bit more adventurous smothered our creations with dark and white chocolate chips.  Although some were skeptical, this turned out to be a GREAT addition! You should try it with chocolate. It may surprise you! I topped it off with a lovely drizzle of sweet clover honey (this was a good choice, trust me) and enjoyed the delectable creation that was granola. Delish! What a spectacular way to start off the morning if I do say so myself!

The finished product!

In case there is any left over you can transfer the remaining granola to an airtight container (like a zip-lock bag or plastic pot) and it will stay good for about 1 week.

Other suggestions for serving: Serve over vanilla yogurt with banana slices or berries and a drizzle of honey, (and don’t forget the chocolate chips!) In fact, just go crazy with it, as long as you enjoy it, that is what matters.

This is Sophia Pizzeria, until next time!

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4 Responses to “The Return of the Granola!”

  1. sayre said

    I’m so sad I missed this! You made it seem like such a fun and delicious process 🙂

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