TradeOff

Posted: May 6, 2010 | Author: Johanna | Filed under: Johanna | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Hello, friends. Have you missed me? Do you see how I tried to appease you by leading off with a picture of the lovely granola I made? Did it work?
Ok, I admit, you all have the right to print t-shirts, signs, and/or cocktail napkins that read “Joh disappears for two weeks, and all I get is this lousy granola!!” but before you do, you might want to know a few things.

#1 – I DID disappear for 2 weeks. I am ashamed. Except that a week out of the middle there was spent packing for, going to, being in, or getting home from Pittsburgh, PA, where I went with a few friends to do something….kind of amazing. You see, on May 2, I ran my first half-marathon. I’ve been training for it since January, and we spent Thursday night through Monday morning in Pittsburgh for the event. I battled a knee injury and pouring rain throughout the race, but still finished, and while I’m not thrilled with my time, I’m proud of it. I finished, and I did something 4 days ago that I couldn’t do 6 months ago. Something that I wasn’t confident 6 weeks ago that I could truly do. I did it. And I can’t wait until the Brooklyn Half Marathon, when I’ll get a chance to redeem myself, I hope.
#2 – This granola? It’s kind of a big deal. It’s not your average “lousy” granola. So even if you ARE upset at me for dropping off the face of the blogosphere to go running, maybe when you make your picket signs, say “Joh disappears for two weeks and all I get is this fantastic granola” or something like that. Ok?

Joh’s Badass Granola
adapted from several sources, and smushed into one.
1. Preheat the oven to 375, and line a cookie sheet with foil.
2. Combine 3 cups of rolled oats, 1 cup of sweetened shredded coconut, 1 bag (1 1/3 cup) of slivered almonds, 1 cup of chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons of toasted wheat germ, and toss.

3. Season with a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of honey, and 1/3 cup of olive oil. Toss to combine everything, making sure that all the pieces have been coated a little bit with the olive oil, and spread it all out in a single layer on the foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake the granola for 15 minutes at 375, then stir, and keep an eye on it. You want the granola to be golden brown and toasty smelling, but baking times in the recipes I read varied WILDLY!! Mine ended up taking 20 minutes, total. I baked it for the 15 minutes, stirred, spread it back out, and checked it in 5 minutes, and it looked like this:


So I would say, after 15 minutes, check and stir your granola every 5 minutes. When it looks golden and toasty, and smells nutty and heavenly, pull it out and let it cool for 15 minutes.
4. Chop up 2 to 2 1/2 cups of dried fruit, anything that floats your boat. I used dried apricots and dried cranberries, but anything you want to throw in there would be delish, I’m sure. Stir the fruit into the cooling granola, and make sure everything is all combined and friendly. When it cools completely, put the granola in an airtight container, and stick it in the freezer.

I know, I know…. the freezer?! Yes. I’m not telling you to stash this granola and hide it in the freezer so you don’t eat it all, because honestly it’s super good-for-you. But here’s the thing. The baking and the olive oil and honey and brown sugar means that you’re going to get happy little clumps of oats all stuck together, and fantastic crunch and taste. And if you let the dried fruit sit and get too comfortable with the oats and nuts, the granola will get soggy, and lose its crunch. And that’s just a sad day. So stick it in the freezer until you’re ready to mix some with milk or your morning yogurt.
Also, just as an aside, granola is 100% customizable. You can put in sunflower seeds, or chia seeds or pepitas if you want. You can play with the proportions of nuts, and the type, for sure. You can pick your favorite dried fruits and any spices you want to use. Play around with it, and figure out what you like best when making this granola. I promise, it’s worth it. I’ll probably be making this again, and changing it up, several times, in the search for my own perfect granola.



Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.