Wednesday, July 08, 2009


The food section at the Boston Globe has a "recipe" for granola parfaits today. I had to laugh, but it is a good way to get a child to eat yoghurt, fresh fruit and granola for breakfast. I mash the berries in the plain yoghurt rather than layering them, but I'm not about to offer instructions on layering a granola parfait.

Anyone remember when the newspapers had food sections you looked forward to reading each week? Been a while, eh?

So the granola recipe. Looking at the ingredients and technique in the Globe, I thought I'd offer my recipe as well since it is quick, adaptable and really pretty good. In fact, I just made a new batch today. It lasts about a week, but it needs to be in an airtight container. I use an old metal coffee tin. A while back I happened upon a trick that I think works well with granola. When you pull the sheet out of the oven, immediately transfer it to another baking sheet that is cool. This helps the granola cool and crisp better. Make sure it is completely cool before mixing in the fruit and chocolate. yes, chocolate. The world won't come crashing to an end if you throw a handful of chips, or M&M's into it, but your child will eat it enthusiastically for the chance of an odd piece of chocolate buried in the parfait.

I prefer my granola made with maple syrup, but that is expensive. You can do honey, or half honey half maple, or even half brown sugar. I have not tried golden syrup or molasses because they are both on the expensive side around here (more than maple). I've forgotten from time to time and simply used 1/4 cup of maple syrup and it turned out fine. Adjust according to your tastes. I don't use seeds or nuts in mine, but if you do, take their salt content into consideration before adding salt in the recipe. Sometimes I toss in coconut, but again, if you're using sweetened coconut, you need to adjust for that in the sweetner. I probably sound like I'm over-complicating it-it really is quite simple.

You Will Need:

4 cups old fashioned oats (the type you cook)
1/4 cup oil (I used soybean)
1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey, or brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
a few pieces of chopped crystalised ginger
Chocolate chips or candy, flaked coconut, etc. if you like

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the oats, oil, syrup, salt and extract together in a bowl. Mix well to coat the oats evenly. Spread them out on a large jelly roll pan and bake for ten minutes. After ten minutes, stir and turn the granola with a spatula (you need not be overly exacting about this) and return it to the oven for another ten minutes. Check it. The granola should be golden and toasted. If not, stir it again and return it to the oven for a few more minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer to another pan that is cool. Let cool at room temperature, and then stir in the fruit, candy and anything else you like. Store in an airtight container for about a week (the oil does make it perishable).

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