Monday, October 3, 2011

Healthy granola....

While digging through the fridge one day, I came upon a lonely bag of shredded coconut.... hmmm, what to do with the flaky stuff?  Well, after enjoying a few handfuls straight from the bag, I decided to make granola bars.  Good idea, right?  I thought so too  :D

As you can see, as the official taste-tester, I had to make very, very, very sure they were fit for little monkey consumption.... and it took exactly three squares to determine that they did, indeed, pass my rigorous tests; you know - proper density, correct balance of flavours and general yummy-ness (it's a technical term, look it up)....

So, here's the recipe; which, by the way, can be adapted for use with whatever you have lurking in your cupboards.... as long as the binders are in place, you're good as gold :)

3 Monkeys Granola

2 cups oats (just not minute oats)
1/2 cup brown sugar (did you know you can make your own? what!?)
1/4 cup wheat germ (or oat bran... or not, totally optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch cloves
1/4 cup cranberries (our fave are raspberry flavoured)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or not)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup honey (we use buckwheat for a stronger flavour)
1 egg
2 tbsp oil (whatever you have is fine)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (unsweetened flavoured is great too)

Here's the really, super difficult part, I hope you're ready for it, please pay very close attention....

Dump all of the dry ingredients in a big bowl and mix together....

Throw the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl and mix well....

Pour the wet into the dry and combine.... phew!  Now, that was a toughy ;)

Pour it all out onto a parchment lined jelly roll pan (aka cookie sheet).... or, grease your pan VERY WELL as this stuff has the power to stick like super glue!  Now, at this stage, it should be a little less than 1/2 inch thick on your pan, but again, this is up to you Miss Baker-Babe, I like mine about this thickness so I don't end up with super crunchy granola.... I hate that stuff!  If you leave it a little on the thicker side, you can control the crunch factor a bit better.... I also like to manipulate mine into a very neat and tidy rectangle using my parchment to shift and move the stuff; to get it flat and even on top, I just use my hands (clean hands, of course)....

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven til lightly golden.... sorry, I can't give you a definite time as I do not work that way in the kitchen.... maybe check on it after 10-15 minutes then every couple minutes after that.... that's the best I can do folks :)  My oven temp runs very hot so my times are always off.... (eagerly awaiting the day it decides to leave this world).... As with all of my recipes, interpret them whatever way you please, because that is the beauty of cooking, right?  You can loosely follow someone else's directions and create something that's your very own.

Happy baking all  ;)

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