Thursday, July 14, 2011

the goose loves granola

After a full day of loafing and lazing around on Saturday while Billy was at a drum competition, we made Sunday our day of work. One of our many tasks was homemade granola, to go with my workday breakfast of yogurt! I had a recipe from Billy's Aunt Glady and found another recipe for Slow-Cooker granola in the Food section of the Oregonian, and combined the two for the most delicious granola yet. The process is very simple - add oats, add-ins, and liquid to slow cooker, set to low for three hours, and stir every half hour. And voila, crunchy granola!

Slow Cooker Granola:

--half of a large cylinder carton of whole oats (Quaker or the store brand is okay)

--1/2 cup honey

--1/3 cup canola oil (Mom-I use Smart Balance oil!)

--1 tbsp of vanilla

--dollups of molasses and/or real maple syrup, if you like

--1 tbsp cinnamon

--1/2 cup of as many add-ins as you like:

~sunflower seeds

~pumpkin seeds

~flax seeds

~shredded coconut (sweetened or not)

~chopped nuts of any kind

~dried fruit - craisins, golden or regular raisins, etc.

1. So mix all the dry ingredients, including add-ins but excluding dried fruit, in your slow cooker.

2. Mix wet ingredients and microwave for about 10 seconds to ensure easy flowing.

3. Pour wet ingredients into slow cooker, mix well.

4. Set slow cooker to low, for three hours, with lid, but stick wooden spoon under lid to allow for venting.

5. Stir every half hour for 2 hours, then stir every 20 minutes. When only half an hour remains, stir in dried fruit.

6. Once golden and toasty, spread out onto cookie sheet(s). Granola will get slightly more crunchy as it cools.

But the best part of making granola (especially when using the end of the granola container)? Giving the container to the dog for his (and your) entertainment:

That's right. His head is stuck inside. That food-hound must have found one little last grain of oat at the bottom, and his greed got him into trouble :).

And even better? Rather than trying to paw it off or bang his head on the ground to get free, Bentley just stood there! With his head stuck. Basically not moving. Maybe it was because he was not getting proper ventilation and air flow and blood flowing in his brain, but whatever the reason, it was funny. And perfect for photo taking - he was SO still!

Don't worry. The photo session probably lasted about 35 seconds, after which we promptly pulled the bin off his head and let him breathe. Bentley then proceeded to rip the container apart with all his might.

Meanwhile, we have a fresh batch of granola that I've been enjoying all week!

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