From the Garden to the Kitchen
[Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated – I have been testing chunky granola techniques forever and none is as good as this one.]
Yardboy, it’s good to be back! I’m starting off the season with my newest and most favorite granola. The very cool thing is that the flax seeds in the recipe are my own, harvested from my garden flax last year. The flax and Chia are optional but know that they are huge sources of Omega 3’s good for your heart, brain, eyes, nails, skin and HAIR. Now if you want, you can use all flax seeds or no seeds at all.
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (I used dark)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup Soybean or canola
1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sliced almonds
1/4 cup Chia seeds
2 tablespoons flax seeds
Dried fruit: About 2 cups if you like, or not – your choice.
Line a large cookie sheet w/parchment or spray with cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 325.
Whisk syrup, sugar, extracts and salt and whisk in oils. Fold in oats, almonds, and seeds until coated.
Pour onto cookie sheet in thin, even layer and press mixture down until compact. Bake 35-40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Remove and cool to room temperature. Break into desired chunks. Stir in fruit. Store in airtight container up to 3 wks.
Tips from Rita’s kitchen:
• Use your favorite nuts.
• Light brown sugar can be substituted, as well as all Soybean or Canola in place of olive oil.
• Use all vanilla extract: 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon
• Grow your own Chia sprouts – sprinkle seeds in a bit of soil, water well and sit in sunny window.
-Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH