Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Earthy Crunchy ... Granola

It is appropriate that the morning after I made this granola, as I walked home from the gym at 6:30 in the morning, I was passed by a wild "freeking" turkey. I have never in my 10 years living in the city come a cross a wild turkey, never mind a wild turkey sauntering up my street, and then stopping dead in its tracks on a four lane street, causing all kinds of ruckus with the cars coming in either direction. In the City, there are a lot of people walking around at 6:30 in the morning, especially because I live down the street from the hospitals at Longwood, so a lot of people are walking to the hospital for the 7 o'clock shift change. All of us, stopped dead in our tracks and beheld the sheer randomness of having a wild turkey join our commutes, in the middle of the City no less. Chris was still at the gym when I left, and about 5 minutes after I got home he walked in and said "did you see the wild turkey", apparently the turkey had found his way to the sidewalk and was just meandering down the sidewalk when Chris left the gym. Very random this brush with nature. It reminds me of something cool that happened in VT this weekend. I decided to do a yoga class that I downloaded to my ipod at home instead of going to the Yoga Loft, and as I was coming into an upward dog position I looked out the sliding glass door and there were two beautiful deer in my back yard, and they stayed there for most of the class, which was about an hour and a half long. Very Cool.

There is a little restaurant in VT called the Easy Street Cafe, and they have the best granola ever, and I buy it there a lot. Every time I buy it I say to myself "I can make this, why do I keep buying it?" So this week I didn't buy it, I made it, and if I do say so myself, it's pretty damn good. I started with a recipe that was posted on USWeekend.com and then added to it with what I had in the cupboards. This is what came from it.

Earthy Crunchy Granola
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup flax seed
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried banana chips (crushed)
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
1 Tbs water

Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside. Mix everything except nuts and dried fruit together in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water and any flavorings and spices to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and nuts. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool.

Rating = So Damn Good

8 comments:

Molly said...

I'm pretty sure that turkey is a local. I've seen one over on Beacon Street in the Washington Square area a few times. I like to think it's the same turkey every time just going about his business. He's very interested in the T tracks.

Marianne said...

One of my co-workers walks to the bus in Wellesley and passed a pack of wild turkeys last week. He stopped to take pictures and they went after him!

The granola looks very tasty.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have never had a nature encounter of that kind, JB. :)

That granola looks wonderful. I have never tried making granola at home and the thought has been on my mind for a while, now. I'll even use the cranberries I have left (the ones you sent me).

Laura said...

Yay!!!! Now I can make my own granola. I still want to try the tropical granola too!
P.S A wild turkey is ALWAYS better than a camoose ;)

Jessica said...

Hi! I've been meaning to try this for weeks, and was going to today, but I've just noticed you mention "syrup, oil, water" in the instructions, but "water" isn't on the list of ingredients. Help?

JB said...

Sorry, it's 1 Tablespoon water. I'll fix on recipe now.

Meg said...

I love this, JB - just want to be sure: the brown sugar goes in the saucepan mixture, right? Going to try this for a second time. Went well the first, but I wasn't able to get it particularly clumpy, but that's okay.

I hope you're feeling okay today! xo

JB said...

Meg, the brown sugar does go into the sauce pan. I think that if you substituted honey for maple syrup it would clump better. I'm going to try that next time. Let me know if you do and if it works for you. J