October 8th, 2009 Jamie
Until a few months ago, I would have chosen an afternoon snack of m&m’s over granola any day. But then I tried this fantastic Trader Joe’s granola, and I was floored. It was actually good. Really good. And it has a lot more health benefits than junk food.
Last week I tried making my own, and it came out really good. I’m addicted–I have it at least once a day now.
First-Timer Yummy Morning Granola
(my novice version of this one from–where else–Cooking Light.)
- 5 cups regular oats (not instant microwave kind)
- 3 cups puffed rice cereal
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice (if you don’t have this, using all apple juice is fine)
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- Cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Combine oats and rice cereal in a large bowl.
3. Combine the juices in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 2/3 cup. Remove from heat; stir in honey.
4. Slowly pour juice mixture over oat mixture, tossing to coat. Spread oat mixture evenly onto a pan coated with cooking spray.
5. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. (Cook longer for crunchier granola.)
6. Cool completely, and store in an airtight container.
Make it Better: For more crunch and pizazz, consider replacing 1 cup of the oats and 1 cup of rice cereal with fruit (dried cranberries, apples, blueberries, etc.), nuts (walnuts, toasted almonds) and/or oat bran, wheat germ, or other healthy alternatives. It will cost a little more, but it is super yummy.
Mix it Up
Granola on its own is okay, but mix-ins are the spice of life if you ask me. Try eating your fresh-baked granola:
- With fruit flavored yogurt
- Topped with berries over milk (or vanilla yogurt)
- Ice cream (a yummy topping, I’d pair it with chocolate or berry syrup)
- In a fruit parfait with alternating layers of granola, fresh fruit, and frozen yogurt
- Mixed into oatmeal for crunch
- With fruit juice
- As an addition to cookie-and-ice cream sandwiches (roll the open sides of your ice cream sandwich in granola… mmm!)
Entry Filed under: food & recipes