This past weekend, I had the opportunity to head upstate to spend some time at my uncle and aunt’s country house with a friend from school. I was so nice to be able to get out of the city for a bit. Their house is so nice and relaxing. We played in the snow, had a feast of a dinner on Saturday night and got to take a NIA class that my aunt teaches. It was an excellent way to spend any weekend, and if I could, I would go up all the time. Not as much homework was done as I would have liked, but oh well. The view up the Hudson was far too nice to allow me to sit down and write my essay 😉
One of the my favorite parts of our Saturday evening cooking escapades was the fact that I got to use my uncle’s nice big camera to take lots and lots of pictures of food. My aunt was making fun of me for taking pictures of food and not people, but there is just something about a good camera and food that seems to go together so well. I took so many photos of just about everything we were making – granola, ribs, veggies, even the butter. I can’t wait to someday get a good camera to use for taking pictures of food. I added a few of the other photos in addition to the granola at the end of this post. As I said, it was quite a feast. And no, I did not eat the ribs, I’m still vegetarian, just incase you were wondering.
My uncle is the master of making granola. Everytime I go their house upstate, there are always huge canisters of the most delicious granola ever. I’ve made it with him before, but have never watched carefully what goes in it. This time, we made it together and he showed me the techniques for how he makes the best granola. As he reminded me over and over again, it’s very easy to customize granola to however you like it. If you like it extra nutty – add more nuts. If you like it more fruity – add more craisins or raisins or any other dried fruit you like. We made a huge batch, but given the rather intensive baking time it takes, it’s worth it to bake a whole big batch at once so it can last a longer time. When baking, be sure to keep an eye out on it as the edge can burn rather quickly. Once again, it’s nice to have a recipe, but granola is very adaptable, so have fun!
UNCLE DOUG’S NUTTY GRANOLA
- 8 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 3/4 cup flax seed meal
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup chopped pecans (Don’t chop to finely)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup water
- up to 2 cups raisins or dried cranberries
1) Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F
2) In a large bowl, mix together the oats, wheat germ, flax seed meal, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, almonds, and cashews.
3) In a separate sauce pan, bring to low simmer, the oil, honey, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, spices, vanilla and water.
4) Slowly pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and mix until evenly blended. Spread in 2 9×13 greased cookies sheets.
5) Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, stirring every 20 minutes, or until toasted. Beware of granola browning too much a the edges.
6) Reduce heat to 200 degrees F for 30 minutes
7) After 30 minutes, turn oven off and let sit for another 30-90 minutes
8 ) Store in an airtight container
9) Enjoy 🙂