Saturday, August 27, 2011

Maple Almond Granola with Flax

When Johanna (now 11) was a little tiny slip of a girl, we went on a road trip with "Poppa Joel" to Stratford, Ontario, where we saw a few shows, and stayed in this very cool B&B that was a converted caboose. When the local railroad pulled up spikes in the 1960's, they sold off the old cars for a song, and the B&B proprietors had purchased one for use as a playhouse for their boys. When the boys grew up and moved on, there they were with a caboose in the backyard..... So they outfitted the old car with a shower, toilet, and narrow beds, and made it into a B&B for the theatre-going set. You could climb up a ladder into the little parapet on the top, and look out at the flat, green fields of soybeans all the way around. Breakfast was served on the patio of the main house, where the proprietors lived. On the table that morning was a jar of the best granola I'd ever had, and the folks were nice enough to share the recipe with me. Of course, once I had a look at the recipe, I blanched, and promptly altered it again and again, tinkering with it until it was much more healthful.

My mother recently visited me, and she enjoyed my granola so much that she ate it every day, and then asked me repeatedly for the recipe to take home. Let me repeat that for emphasis: my Mom asked me for a recipe. I can assure you that does not happen very often!

I think you will enjoy this as much as we do.

Maple Almond Granola with Flax

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients:

8 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 heaping cup unsweetened coconut curls (the broad flakes, not the little ones)
1 heaping cup toasted almonds (you can substitute walnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans)
½ cup hulled pumpkin seeds
½ cup hulled sunflower seeds
1 cup flax seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds

Stir until well combined. If ingredients are not in a harmonious balance, add some more of whatever item you like.

In a 2 cup, microwave-proof measuring cup, put:

¼ cup flax oil
¼ cup organic, expeller pressed, neutral oil, such as canola or sunflower oil
¾ cup + 2TB maple syrup

Heat these in a microwave until just bubbling. (In my microwave, this is 3 minutes, but most microwaves run hotter.) Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, stir until well coated. Pour mixture into a roasting pan and spread it out evenly. (The pan should be big enough to stir easily.)

Toast in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, then stir well. Toast for another 12-15 minutes, until top surface is golden, stir well. Toast for 8-10 minutes, stir well. If granola is evenly toasted and golden, it is done. If not, put it in for another 5 minutes. (A dark roasting pan will toast faster an darker than a light one, so act accordingly.)

Notes: You can substitute other rolled grains for the oats in any combination; rye, spelt, etc. I have called for the minimum amount of oil and sweetener I’ve ever seen in any recipe. You can increase them if you like, but I do not recommend increasing the amount of flax oil, as its strong flavor can easily overpower the more pleasing flavors. (I tried it – yuck!)

This is utterly delicious sprinkled over the top of a good plain yoghurt..... Sigh. If only I weren't all low-carbified.....