Granola Wars

Since I started ordering food from my local food co-op, the two things I look forward to the most are greek yogurt and granola. I will eat yogurt and granola 3 times a day for at least a week after I get my order – this stuff is DELISH. I got my order last Thursday and proceeded to dive in to the granola – it was crisp and cinnamony and honey-y and just absolutely perfect! I mean, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a little bit addicted to this stuff. Seriously, they should change the name to Crackola or something – I love it that much. So picture me standing at my kitchen counter perusing the grocery store ads, taking little fingerfuls of granola and popping them in my mouth as I browse the week’s produce selection – now picture me missing the bag, but nudging it just enough that it falls over and spills ALL OF MY GRANOLA all over the kitchen floor – the kitchen floor my sweaty-footed kids and slobbery black lab had inhabited just moments before. I seriously shrieked “NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!” as I watched my Precious become tainted by floor germs. The 5 second rule was not even an option here. My granola, my sweet addiction, was gone. The Hubs and the kids came running to see what sort of murder had occurred and found me staring wide-eyed and incredulous at the scene before my feet. My husband, knowing my love of the oaty goodness, stifled his surprised laugh (for a moment anyway) and then tried to salvage the top level of granola, but I stopped him and said “forget it, it’s ruined”. We swept it up and threw it in the trash. My beloved granola was laid to rest.

It was at this point I had a brilliant idea – I would make my OWN granola! I had recently purchased a mammoth-sized carton of rolled oats and a new bottle of honey, all I had to do was find a recipe. I remembered reading lots of blog posts about how easy it was to make homemade granola – so I searched a few recipes and came up with an option that uses a banana as the sweetener for the granola. I threw all the wet ingredients into my food processor and whirled it all up and then mixed that with the oats, then put it in the oven. It seemed a little too wet, but I thought the oven would take care of that. Forty minutes later, all I had was something akin to gummy, crumbly banana bread. It was not good.  I was deflated, but not defeated.

I found another recipe that claimed this was the easy (lazy) way to make granola! I mixed up all the ingredients, poured them out onto a couple of cookie sheets, and stuck them in the oven. The recipe says to put it in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, take it out and stir, then put it back in and turn the oven off, and let it sit in the oven overnight. The recipe claimed that “you will wake up to the delightful scent of cinnamon wafting through your kitchen”. I was so excited – I would be eating granola for breakfast!! I couldn’t wait!!

 

After the initial 10 minutes of cooking, I took the pans out, stirred them up, then put them back in and turned the oven off. Then I went to read a bedtime story to my daughter. A few minutes later, the hubs asked “what’s burning?” I told him nothing was burning, I was making granola and it had to sit in the oven overnight. After I read the story, I went back into the kitchen to return an empty cup…and it’s a good thing I did.

Smoke was starting to billow out of my oven and I believe my exact words were “Oh Sh*t!” as I  grabbed a pot holder and pulled the pans out. It took exactly ten minutes for my granola to burn, baby, burn. Instead of a gentle cinnamon breeze wafting through my kitchen, I had the acrid smell of angry burnt toast permeating every inch of my house. I tossed the charred remains of granola into the trash and went to bed.

When Shawn saw my dejected look, he sort of laughed and said “I told you something was burning”. I punched him in the arm and mumbled “stupid granola”. Then I got in bed and pouted for several minutes before I finally fell asleep. There would be no granola for breakfast.

I am down, but I am not out. I am determined to make a batch of granola worthy of my farm-fresh greek yogurt if it takes the rest of my life! Actually, I’m going to give it one more shot and if it doesn’t work out, then I’ll just go buy some damn granola at the store until I can order more from the co-op. Does anyone have a Jill-proof fool-proof recipe for granola they would like to share? Any secrets or tips that I should know – anything that will keep me from going ballistic if this last batch doesn’t turn out right?

Wish me luck on this last batch – if things go wrong, you may find me again sobbing quietly in the corner.

 

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11 thoughts on “Granola Wars

  1. Bless your heart! That’s the adult equivalent of a kid’s scoop of ice cream falling off the cone onto the pavement. I’m sorry. I’ve never made granola, so I don’t have a recipe for you. My condolences for your loss. 😦

  2. Oh noooo! Alas I don’t hava a tried and tested granola recipe to share, but would love it if when you find one, you share it with us. Good Luck!

  3. I’ve been hooked on my hippie granola recipe for about 18 months now – try it! I should update the recipe on my blog, but here’s the changes to the original recipe that I posted:
    *increase the coconut from 1/2 cup to a full cup
    *omit mixing the Craisins in at the end – I add them to my yogurt if I don’t have any fresh fruit available, but they aren’t necessary.
    *I bake it in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes – then I stir it, and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Remove and let it crisp up…voila, hippie granola!

    Hope this works for you, if you try it. Recipe: http://www.myjourneytofit.com/2011/03/friday-mishmash-in-which-i-become.html

  4. Google Alton Brown’s granola recipe. It’s time-consuming, but so good. Turns out just right every time, even for this non-cook! Good luck!

  5. 🙂 on your granola story. you’ll get it right next time! lesson learned. Thanks for commenting on my blog and always supporting me! just wanted you to know I felt the love today.

  6. I don’t like granola, but I’ve been at the “All my yummies are on the floor! Waaah! Where’s my time machine!!??!!” point, so uber-hugs!

  7. When I make granola, I use 3 pounds of nuts, 2 tablespoons of oatmeal and perhaps a bit of cinnamon. As a result, I really shouldn’t make granola because I gain 12 pounds every time I put it in the oven. So. Best Christmas present EVER. My darling sister gave me a subscription to what she calls the granola of the month club. On the first of every month, she gives me one cup of a different flavor granola that she made. I can eat it, enjoy it, not have to worry about burning it and not have a 12 pound gain. She has yet to duplicate a recipe. They are marvelous! Want me to find out where she’s getting her ideas?

  8. Hi there, I started experimenting due to the cost of granola and honestly, found that some oil or butter (not too much..just enough to coat the pan and make the oats not completely dry), some whole oats and basically, anything else you want, works really well. I don’t add sugar at all as that would mean I would consume it all in a day probably :). The key is to watch it at 300F or so and stir it a few times. It takes less than 30 minutes depending on the heat and your ingredients, but I wait for it as when I have left, I do get a half-burned pan of oats. I roast almonds this way as well. I have added all kinds of nuts and seeds but those take some experimenting as some seeds cook faster than others.

  9. DO NOT MESS WITH ANYTHING ELSE!! Shelley’s granola recipe is the best I have ever had. Has that lovely addictive quality that you’ve been looking for LOL. I think I found that my oven was running a little hot, so I might have lowered the heat to 275–not sure. Just watch closely, use a timer, and stir every 10 minutes (or 15 like Shelley said.) I have varied the nuts I include. And at the end I add various dried fruit. Love adding bits of dried apricot. Always add the fruit after the baking! Good luck.

    • I was waiting for you to comment!!! I crawled all over your blog looking for your granola recipe and couldn’t find one – maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough (or maybe I was looking too hard and missed the link). 🙂

  10. “Crackola” — snort!

    Oh, I sympathize! You poor thing. “Stupid granola” — yeah, that got me, too.

    I don’t have a recipe for granola, but I do like a muesli recipe a Swedish friend gave me.

    I see you have another post… waiting in anticipation for success…

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