Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Granola – Monica’s recipe

My friend Monica made delicious granola and had some at work one day.  She let me try some.  It was really good!  I make this recipe every 10 days or so.  The first time I made it, I followed her recipe exactly, only adding a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses to increase the iron.  Since then, I've changed up the recipe depending on what nuts and dried fruits I have on hand.  One time I tried putting chocolate chips in it, but didn't wait long enough for the granola to cool after baking and let's just say, next time I will wait for the granola to cool completely. 

This is a moist kind of granola, not all hard and crunchy.  Nowadays when I run out of homemade and buy granola at the store for convenience, I don't care as much for the store-bought stuff.  I miss my Monica granola.

Here is the basic recipe.

Granola – Monica’s recipe

Preheat oven to 325.
3 c oats
1 peeled & shredded apple
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg

In a separate bowl, combine
1/2 c honey
¼ c canola oil
¼ c brown sugar

Pour over the oat mixture.   Spread on a sheet pan and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes. 

Once you pull it out of the oven & it cools a bit, add
½ c dried cranberries
½ c slivered almonds

Tonight when I made it, I used a superfruit blend of blueberries, pomegranate and cranberries; some extra cranberries; walnuts; whole almonds.  I used way more than the 1 cup total shown in the recipe.  I like the extra fruit and nuts in my granola.   I didn't use nutmeg because I don't care for it; I added 1 T blackstrap molasses; and I only used about 1/8 teaspoon of salt.  I also put the oven at 350, because in the past this has not cooked enough to my liking at only 20 minutes in a 325 oven.  I cook it for about 12 minutes, then stir, then another 10 minutes.  Basically, I guess I don't use Monica's recipe at all anymore!  Just the general idea of it.

I also needed bandaids.  My new kitchen gadget for this recipe is a box grater with a little cup on the bottom that holds the grated apple.  Oh, this reminds me - it wasn't until about the 8th time I made this recipe that I noticed it said "1 peeled and shredded apple."  I have never peeled the apple, just grated it down to the peel.  That worked great on my old grater, a flat thing that looks like one side of a box grater and lays nicely on my cutting board so I can shred flat.  This new grater, even though it looks all helpful, was kind of a pain.  I had a hard time getting the little box to stay on the bottom, and ended up kind of balancing the grater on the box.  Also, it  is really sharp and I sliced my thumb.  Next time I use this grater, I will go ahead and put  a bandaid on my thumb first, to save time.

OK, so mix the oats, shredded apple, sea salt and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, mix the oil, brown sugar, honey and molasses.  HELPFUL HINT:  If you measure the oil first, then use the same measuring cup for the honey, the honey won't stick to the measuring cup. 

Now mix everything together well.  Spread it out on a baking pan kind of evenly.  I used to cut my parchment paper to fit the pan.  That never worked out well, no matter how careful I was.  The paper never did fit perfectly and lay totally flat, like it always does on The Barefoot Contessa.  I'd love to know how her parchment paper assistant does that.  Now I just put a piece down that's big enough to cover the pan, and call it a day.

Right after I took pictures of the oat mixture and the honey mixture, my camera stopped working.  It won't unload the pictures, and I get an error message that says "can't download, don't know why, write down this number: 83085725 in case you decide to research this error."  First of all, I wouldn't even know where to start.  Second of all, I have a backup camera, which was dead.  Luckily I had backup batteries.  So the camera with all the beginning pictures is waiting for the battery to recharge, and the backup camera is doing just fine so far.

While the granola is cooking, I put the nuts into an oven-proof pan and roast them in the oven at the same time.  Don't forget they are in there.   Take them out when you stir the granola!

After another 10 minutes take it out of the oven and let it cool.  This time mine got slightly darker than I had hoped.  I attribute this to having to cook it on the very top rack in the oven.  All my screwing around with bandaids and cameras and batteries and the threat of research took up a lot of time, and Greg had a roast to put in the oven.  So I used the top shelf and he used the middle shelf (the good all-around baking one) (just sayin').

Too dark, but totally edible

Chop up the nuts, and now you just have to wait while the granola cools completely. 

Almonds and walnuts, roasted

Almonds and walnuts, chopped

When the granola is cooled, pick up the parchment paper and dump the granola into a cannister.  This never goes as smoothly as I think it's going to go.


Make sure to get all of it.  It goes everywhere.

Then, mix the granola with the nuts and fruit.  I just dump the nuts and fruit in and put on the lid, then flip the cannister all around.  Now, go to bed so it will be morning and you can eat some fresh, homemade Monica granola in your Greek yogurt, with honey drizzled over!

Oh good, the camera battery has charged up enough to download the pictures!  No research required after all.  Good.  Between cooking and bleeding and camera maintenance, it has taken me about twice as long to make granola as it usually does.  Seriously, before I started writing a blog, I could cook pretty much any recipe without all this drama!

PS:  I can see that the font size is all over the place.  Let's just ignore that.

These are the nutritional stats not for the original recipe that Monica gave me, but for my latest batch, which has different nuts and fruits than the original recipe (and more of them, too).
nutrition facts


  1. So, er, the granola is thumb fortified, right?

  2. Another hilarious post and I have that exact same grater and HATE it for the same reason. I always end up with a cut on a finger or thumb !!:(

  3. Jannie can you get the little box to stay on? This thing did not come with instructions.

    Lynn. Luckily I noticed right away that I had cut myself. I had a bandaid on that baby within seconds. :)

  4. Heyyyyyyyyy Chicka !!! Sounds AND looks devine !!! I'll be making some (variation) this weekend !

    I didn't know you even HAD a blog !!! Thank you, Lynn !!

    If you're interested in the ramblings of a half crazy person, here's the link to MY blog

    If you're so interested, that is. I haven't be diligently updating but will be now.

    take care .... stay kool .... be content
    molly =)

  5. Sounds like "bloody" good granola.

  6. I didn't know you had a blog MK! Going there now!

  7. EWWW! Look at all the shreds of thumb in the grater!!

    Karyn, your pictures get better and better - I can't wait to make this. Oh, not supposed to be on the computer. see ya'll later!

    Bloody good...HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Nice one, JR!

  8. To get parchment paper to behave, run it under the tap a little scrunched up. Then it will behave much better. Don't ask me why. I have no idea! Thanks for this recipe... I can't wait to try this!