Maple-Pecan Granola

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Ben and Jerry aren’t the only Americans shouting “Yes, Pecan!” this January in honor of the inauguration. In keeping with my current oatmeal theme I’m making a special Obamalicious batch of oaty, nutty granola.


 

If I had to pick only one food in the world to eat every day, this granola might just be it. It offers a pleasing mixture of tastes and textures. Luckily, I don’t eat it every day. It’s expensive to make and rather fattening. Nevertheless, a little bit is heavenly with ice cream or yogurt or just by itself as a snack. It also makes a welcome gift. If I thought it would get past security, I would send some to the Obamas. Instead, I’m sharing it with my neighbors.

 

It’s easy to make this mixture gluten free. Just cut out the Grape Nuts and add a few more nuts. (I can ALWAYS add a few more nuts!)


 

Maple-Pecan Granola

 

Ingredients:

 

3-1/2 cups uncooked old-fashioned oats (do not use instant or steel-cut oatmeal)

1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup nutlike cereal nuggets such as Grape-Nuts
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup canola oil, plus oil for greasing the pan
3/4 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup raisins (plus as many extra as you like!)

1 cup dried cranberries (more of these are nice, too)


 

Directions:

 

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, coconut, cereal, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds. Make sure they are well jumbled up. In a separate, smaller bowl or a 2-cup measuring cup, carefully whisk together the oil, salt, syrup, and vanilla. Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and mix the whole mess together thoroughly with a big spoon.


 

Generously oil a large jelly roll pan with canola oil. (Pour a little oil in the pan, and smooth it around with a paper towel.) Place the granola on the pan, and bake it until it is golden brown, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring well every 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and cool the granola to room temperature. At that point, transfer the granola back into the large bowl, and stir in the dried fruits. Store the granola in an air-tight container (or several).


Makes about 8 cups of granola—more or less, depending on how much stuff you add.


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The Golden Spurtle


 

Before I leave the topic of National Oatmeal Month, I’d like to point readers to the website for the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship, http://www.goldenspurtle.com/. Thanks to Peter Beck and to Apartment Therapy’s Kitchen section, http://www.thekitchn.com/, for finding this for me!

A yearly cooking contest set in Carrbridge in Inverness-shire, Scotland (of course!), this contest looks ALMOST as much fun as my annual Pudding Hollow Pudding Contest. Avid food enthusiasts will be happy to hear that they can attend both. The Golden Spurtle is scheduled for October 11, 2009, while the Pudding Contest will take place on October 31.


The Golden Spurtle web site includes rules, an entry form, and a wonderful page devoted to porridge, including something you won’t find anywhere else–a Porridge and Oatmeal Thesaurus.


 

Eat it up!


2008 Golden Spurtle Winners Andy Daggert & Ian Bishop (Courtesy of the Golden Spurtle)

2008 Golden Spurtle Winners Andy Daggert & Ian Bishop (Courtesy of the Golden Spurtle)

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