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Maple Granola Clusters

March 19, 2014

I love granola- the kind I  make at home- not the store bought kind. I’m not a granola elitist. OK, maybe a smidge. I enjoy making it- it’s simple and fun, Well… Novio reminds me, for me, that is. But truly, my readers, it’s no biggie and it makes people very happy. It makes me happy. And I want you to be happy too.

I start by throwing a bunch of  oats, some nuts and some unsweetened coconut on a large rimmed baking sheet. These pans are probably used more than anything else in my kitchen,oatmeal-plus ready for toastingI toast this in a moderate oven for about 5 minutes. (You don’t even need to do this step. I didn’t notice much difference in the extra toasting.) Then I add the maple syrup, the salt and cinnamon and the beaten egg white.

egg white plus cinnamon and saltYes! A beaten egg white! It serves as the binder, adds a little bit of protein, and cuts down on the oil needed. Olive oil may not immediately come to mind for granola, but the fruitiness of the oil rounds out the flavor.

I toss the mixture in a large bowl with everything but the dried fruit and spread it out in a pan.

unstirred baked granolaFor this type of granola, I don’t want to stir it around. To get clusters, use the widest spatula you have to flip it over in 4 or 6 sections at the halfway point of baking. Then add the dried fruit when the granola’s dry and getting brown and let cool.

baked granola with raisinsClick here for a slightly different and nuttier version. Reminds me of all those compare & contrast essays. But  this time it’s with granola, not Greek & Roman civilization.

I like granola both in clusters and looser, so a mix is fine with me, especially if the amount of sugar is decreased. The original version is in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and is also posted on Serious Eats.

Granola’s excellent:

  • on yogurt
  • on yogurt with fruit
  • on cereal
  • on top of oatmeal (really interesting texture contrast)
  • as a snack
  • in 1-Minute Noodle Kugel (see crazy side note below)

I give granola away as gifts a lot. Especially to certain parties in Ohio. For a certain K and a certain Y.

Maple Granola Clusters

based on Deb Perlman’s version in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients:

3 c. (240 g.) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c.  (50 g.) unsweetened flaked coconut
1 ½ c. (140 g.) walnuts, roughly chopped or 1 1/2 c. sliced almonds, or a combination
¼ c. (25 g.) toasted wheat germ (or flax seed meal)
2 T. olive oil
½ t. sea salt
1/3 c. maple syrup
½ t. ground cinnamon
1 large egg white
1 heaping c. dried fruit, use a combo of raisins, cranberries and/or chopped apricots

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 300°. Combine all ingredients but the egg white and dried fruit in a large bowl, tossing to coat evenly. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Stir into the granola mixture, distributing it throughout. Spread it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, use a large spatula to turn over sections of the granola carefully, breaking them up as little as possible. Rotate the pan if granola is baking unevenly. When it is evenly browned and feels dry to the touch, transfer the pan from the oven to the cooling rack. Sprinkle in dried fruit. Cool completely. Once it’s completely cool, break up granola into clusters.

The granola keeps at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 weeks. It keeps even longer in the freezer.

Healthy Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt ParfaitLayer yogurt, fresh fruit and granola.

And here’s a crazy side note:

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite comfort foods was Nudeln mit Kassë und Butter (noodles with cheese and butter). Very simple – egg noodles (usually broad or medium), with a pat of sweet unsalted butter, a couple of spoons of cottage cheese and a dollop of sour cream. All mixed up. I loved it.

I was hungry yesterday and poked around in the fridge for something to eat- there was a small serving of fine egg noodles, a bit of butter, some cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Great! I’ll put together my old stand-by. As I microwaved the noodles and butter, my little voice spoke up. Throw in some of the granola I had just made. It’s got nuts, it’s got raisins, it’s got crunch. And voila! I had all the flavors of the most delicious Dairy Noodle Kugel in one minute! No kidding! Alas, it was SO enticing, that I gobbled it up before I could grab the camera. Please use your imagination on this one.

bb’s 1-Minute Dairy Noodle Kugel

1/2 c. or 3/4 c. heated egg noodles  with 1 t. of butter or 1 t.oil
2 T. low fat cottage cheese
1 T. Greek yogurt or low fat sour cream
1 T. granola

Whenever you have these ingredients around, you MUST try this! And please please, get back to me, I’d love to hear what you think.

Maple Granola Clusters

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3 Comments
  1. hsimpsongrossman permalink

    Love this granola (still have to try your “old” recipe), and love the kugle even more! might be something me and princess would enjoy together – after Pessach, please God.
    XOXO

  2. hsimpsongrossman permalink

    Update- I had cooked pasta in the fridge and your Nudeln mit Kassë und Butter was sitting there on that must make spot since I’ve read this post. So, I mixed my pasta (not egg noodles, but so what) with some ricotta cheese and mozzarella and put it in the oven for 10 minutes – it was so comforting! Princess and I had it for supper and I was thinking of you with every bite I took!

    XOXO

    • am reading this now – we will wait another several days before returning to the nudeln- have been behind while thoughts are overflowing in my head 🙂

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