I made granola. Granola I made. I am a granola-maker. Oh my gosh, I am now officially qualified to drive a beat-up VW van, stop shaving my legs, and burn patchouli incense...ha!
(I refuse to replace my curtains with love beads, though, or go braless in public) ;-)
I'm on a quest for simple foods...the sort we want available homemade but requiring very little expense, preparation, and fuss. The sort that's the backbone of the everyday, and will sustain us dependably despite the vagaries of future crop fluctuations...things that are easy to stockpile.
I've never realized my full granola/muesli potential. It was high time to take a stab at it...Jack was told by his doc to cut out ALL flour products, most simple starches, and must replace them with only straight-up whole grains.
It's time for me to embrace my inner granola...
I'm not sure what the differences are between muesli and granola. But I know I've wanted to try making this for years...years. Why haven't I tried making this, ever? I've tried soooo many other things, but I've just had a granola mental block. Maybe it was the long list of ingredients, many of which are not regular pantry items for us...wheat germ, bran, flax seed, sesame seeds, etc.
So, in complete muesli/granola ignorance and stubbornness, I waited too long and then found myself in the kitchen with a freshly-fermenting batch of Caspian Sea Yogurt/Matsoni, needing something earthy and crunchy to go along with its fresh, cool blandness for a morning breakfast, or simple evening meal.
I had box of generic old-fashioned oats, and dug around in the cabinets and unearthed a couple handsful of pepitas (pumpkin seed hearts) and some slivered almonds. And a look in the pantry found a pristine bag of sweetened dried cranberries. In haste and without a lot of foresight, I just put a layer of oats, pumpkin seed hearts, and almond slivers on cookie sheets and drizzled the last remains of my jar of honey over them all. I didn't add any salt since the pepitas were salted.
I put them in the oven for 30 minutes on 350, though now I know it should more likely be 300, and stirred every five minutes to make sure nothing scorched. If I did it again, I'd add the almonds the last five minutes. Anyway, when everything seemed pretty toasty and stirred, I put them in a jar and mixed in a full bag of the sweetened cranberry "raisins"...and hey, it was good!
I've since been perusing the recipes online for granola and muesli, all of which include some kind of oil or butter and some of which have different sweeteners. But I think they all fall back on the basics of roasted grains (with oats at the base of most recipes) and seeds and nuts, with varying degrees of dried fruits and perhaps coconut. Looks like it can be personalized to about anyone's preferences. But I have to say that even without the oil or butter, this mix I made was really great for sprinkling over yogurt for a hearty crunch, and definately makes a stick-to-your-ribs meal.
Here's a shot of what it looks like....but I'd never eat a bowlful like this...it's powerful in small quantities :)