Saturday, 13 February 2010

Sunflower- Honey Granola

Granola is another one of those things I don't make very often. I enjoy eating it, but I don't like the smell as it bakes. Given that it smells like toasted oats and honey, this may sound strange until I tell you it was another popular product from the anarchist vegan bakery days. I spent several years saturated in that odour, and could now do without it, thanks.

The main baker claimed, in a moment of exasperation, that their "Fruit & Nut" granola was named after their commune, which consisted of the baking couple, another anarchist vegan and a bunch of drag queens with fetishes for TTC workers in uniform. I remember listening to one fellow sighing on and on about how he "wished he knew how it felt to be a woman". Eventually I got fed up and grossly offended him by telling him that if he really wanted to know how it to be a woman, he could go and wash some of the dishes that all the men in the commune left stacked up for the one woman in the commune to do (who of course was also one of the few people there with a full time job.) Ah, the smell of granola in the morning... smells like unexamined male privilege. Well, it was the '70's, in case you couldn't tell already.

Anyway. Granola is easy enough to make, and if stored properly keeps for a good long time. I like it best with yogurt and fresh fruit. This is a fairly moderate version, not too sweet and rich, but not too pared down either.

Makes about 12 cups, at least 24 servings
1 hour 15 minutes - 15 minutes prep time

Sunflower Honey Granola
8 cups large flake rolled oats
1 cup bran
1 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup nuts; walnuts, pecans or almonds

1 cup honey
1/2 cup sunflower oil

1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apples, broken or cut up

Mix the oats, bran, coconut, sunflower seeds and nuts in a large bowl.

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Put the honey and oil into a pot, and bring them to a boil. Pour them into the oat mixture, and stir well with a large wooden spoon, making sure all the oats are coated. Turn the mixture onto a large cookie tray or better, a large jelly-roll pan - looks like a cookie tray but has sides. You could also divide it between 2 9" x 13" cake pans.

Bake the granola for about an hour, stirring it every 15 minutes. The exact time will depend on how deep your granola is piled, and also on just how dark and crunchy you like it.

When it comes out of the oven, mix in the cranberries and apples while it is hot and still pliable. As it cools, it will set, and once it is cool you will have to break it up and crumble it by hand. Keep it stored in a cool, dark spot well sealed in a glass jar or tub.

Eat it plain, with yogurt or milk, blended with plainer cereals, or sprinkled on top of fruit or ice-cream.

Last year at this time I made Szegedin Goulash.

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