Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy mama granola

Last summer I made a huge batch of this olive oil granola when Betsy was in town and staying at my house. She was pregnant at the time and was totally capable of destroying several bowls with yogurt per day (as was I, but I didn't have the pregnancy excuse). It's just the yummiest granola: sweet, a little salty, and perfectly crispy from baking in the olive oil. About a month ago baby Grant came into the world, and I figured if there's anyone hungrier than a pregnant lady, it's a new mom. So I made a big batch to send on up to Wisconsin. Welcome to your first winter, little guy! This recipe is based on the New York Times olive oil granola from summer 2009. Combine 3 cups rolled oats with 1 cup dried coconut pieces (I used small chunks) and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add in 1 cup each shelled pumpkin seeds and pistachios.I also chopped up about 1/2 cup pecans and added those in, as well as about 1/4 cup of leftover banana chips (clearly this is a pretty flexible recipe and a great place to use up odds and ends of things you may have in your pantry).Mix it all up well...And add in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt...Plus 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon and cardamom. Mix everything up well and add in 3/4 - 1 cup maple syrup and 1/2 cup olive oil. And stir!This is a good time to point out my awesome Respect Your Mother tshirt. Take note, baby Grant!This is what your mixture should be looking like:Spread it out on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven at 325 for at least an hour. Stir often to evenly dry things out.Meanwhile, chop up 3/4 cup of dried fruit. I used apricots because I still had them in the pantry from the last time I made granola. But this is a good place to experiment with different additions if there are other dried fruits you like!When the granola is crisp and smelling heavenly (and this may take longer than 1 hour, depending on your oven--just keep a good eye on it so it doesn't burn!), take it out and try to slap people away from it. It smells amazing, so this resistance is NOT easy. Be ready with a wooden spoon, a fierce expression and a sad story about how this is for a brand-new mother. Also, now you can stir in your dried fruit. I packed it up with a cute label listing all the ingredients...And something for Dad too, because Ryan doesn't like to be left out. Congratulations, you guys!***UPDATE: Erin BS made this over the weekend and reports back that shredded coconut is not the way to go, as it easily burns. Stick with chunks or large flakes. And for those whose ovens run hot (or perhaps for those ovens that simply run true), try setting to 300 degrees. And stir often.

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