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« Winter Greens | Main | Judging the James Beard Cookbook Awards »

Learning to Love Granola

By Ben Mims
For Cooking Newbie, a blog for beginner cooks

Since moving to San Francisco a few months ago, I’ve learned several truths already: the hills are torture on my Converse-loving feet, it will always get cold at night so bring a hoodie, and people here LOVE granola.

Granola has always been tied to hippies and nature-loving enthusiasts as their snack or breakfast of choice, so many would not be surprised that San Franciscans love it. But I was shocked at just HOW much they love it.

Everyone I know here makes it, or has their favorite brand. Being a Southerner, I never ate granola growing up, or even as a young adult, because I was nursed on biscuits with ham or sausage and covered in gravy, quite the complete opposite of everything granola stands for.

So when I developed a recipe at work, I was a true newbie, approaching it with a pensiveness I’d never felt before with other foods. Miraculously, people loved my granola, and many wanted the recipe or to buy it, so I felt it was a natural choice for this blog post. The beauty of it, as most granola-eaters know so well, is that granola is effortlessly adaptable to whatever ingredients or spices you have on hand.

The same is true of this recipe. Use a different spice, nut or sweetener to suit your taste. No applesauce? Try another fruit sauce with the same texture that you love. But what I’ve given you below is the recipe that everyone asks me for.

So however reluctantly, I’ve become a fan of it myself. Although I still make time for a hot biscuit on occasion.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Tropical Granola
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup roughly chopped almonds
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Combine the maple syrup, applesauce, oil and molasses in a small saucepan, and heat until just simmering. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.
  2. Combine the oats, almonds, coconut, sugar, cardamom and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Pour the syrup mixture over the oats and stir with a rubber spatula until both mixtures are evenly incorporated.
  3. Spread the mixture between two rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 50 minutes. Halfway through baking, remove the baking sheets from the oven and stir the granola with a spatula, and then spread it back evenly on the sheet. Rotate the pans and continue baking until the granola is golden brown and toasty.
  4. Once the granola comes out of the oven, give it another stir, spread it back evenly on the sheet and let it cool completely. Transfer to a plastic storage container; it will keep for 1 to 2 weeks.

Makes about 5 cups.

Note: Desiccated coconut is shredded dried, unsweetened coconut. If you can’t find it in your supermarket, look in health food stores.

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Reader Comments (1)

Wow, great article.Really thank you! Want more.

May 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSan Jose tuxedos

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