granola, and I don’t mean me

Crock Pot Granola, you say?  What’s that, you say?  Well, I’ll tell you.  The Crock Pot (aka slow cooker, aka grandma pot) is a great way to cook granola so your house smells wonderful, not like burned granola.  I love granola but it is darned expensive.  And the Crock Pot can only make so much stew, chili and Monday Night Special before it needs a break.

I don’t know where I got the idea, but I found a recipe I tweaked (a lot) and headed to the kitchen.

This is my kind of cooking.  A basic list of ingredients, modify to match what you like or at least what you have on hand and skip the measuring cups.  Here’s my list of ingredients:

  • 5 cups oatmeal (the large rolled oats variety)
  • 1/2+ cup honey*
  • 1/2 cup oil or melted butter
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2+ cup dried fruit

Nuts if you like them. I don’t so I didn’t.

*I added more honey because I like it to be clumpy. (1 cup was still not enough to clump this amount of oats) I also greatly increased the amount of vanilla, cinnamon and dried fruit to be more what I wanted.

Basically, whatever ingredients you want on low for 3-4 hours stirring every 30 minutes.  Oh, and vent the lid with a chopstick.  The chopstick is the key.

♦ ♦ ♦

Now that that’s done how about some microwave granola?  Nope, not out of my tree.  Not yet anyway.  I found this recipe and thought I would give it a go because it is supposed to be clumpy.

And truly, it takes one more dish than the above recipe and 10 minutes actually spent in the kitchen.  But then you’re done.  And eating granola before the crock pot has gotten its first stir.  These ingredients are:

  • 3 cups oatmeal (Either Quick Oats or Old Fashioned, they both work well)
  • 1/3 cup coconut (may be omitted, I did)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins (may be omitted, or increased and substituted with dried cranberries as I did)

The directions here are a little funky.

Pour oatmeal (read it again, just the oatmeal) into a glass microwaveable dish and cook for two minutes; stirring once.  Combine all other ingredients into a bowl.  Add the oatmeal and stir to coat.  Place in glass dish and microwave for 4 minutes stirring every minute.  Cool on wax paper.

granola

So why am I giving you two completely different recipes on how to make the same thing?  Because neither one is exactly what I want.  The first one is great in flavor but has the consistency of cereal when done.  The second one is clumpy and bite size but really sweet with heavy brown sugar flavor.

I thought this would be an easy cooking project.  You thought this would be a nice cooking post.  Apparently we were both wrong.  Do you have a granola recipe you love?  Can I have it please?  I’m unsatisfied and I don’t like it.

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8 Responses to “granola, and I don’t mean me”

  1. I’m a granola making freak but do it the old fashioned way in the oven…I’m going to need to try the crockpot method. I always put wheat germ in my granola and that seems to be a good binder when the honey is added to make those pleasing clumps.

  2. Does it have to be a crockpot recipe? Because I’ve seen two recently, one is on the frugal girl site- you can look it up. It’s pretty old. And the other is here:http://mindfullysimple.blogspot.com/2009/03/crunchy-sweet-goodness-granola.html

    I haven’t tried either one yet, but it will be soon because I’m almost done with my bag of granola…

  3. Unfortunately, this is all way out of my league. I’ve just accepted I won’t be eating granola for a while. But on the second recipe, if it’s too brown sugary sweet, what happens if you reduce the amount of brown sugar you put into it? Just a thought? Good luck, and I very much look forward to you finding the perfect recipe and sharing it here! 🙂

  4. Here’s the Frugal Girl recipe:http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/?p=53

    I think I’ll combine the two recipes, plus add what I like from my own granola that I buy (almonds, spices, dried cranberries,etc.) and see how it turns out. Of course I’ll have to wait a few days- until I can turn the oven on again! Whew!

  5. Beth, I do love the smell of granola cooking in the crock pot. I will have to try the wheat germ to see how that works.

    Angela, I will check out both of those recipes and post if they become family favorites. And if they are crock pot friendly. I have a real aversion to turning the oven on in hot weather too. Actually, the aversion is to not having good ventilation or air conditioning in hot weather. The oven is just an added bonus.

    emma, I’m afraid if I limit the brown sugar the granola would lose it’s clump. I think it’s the glue that holds it together. Literally. But I will keep trying and share what I find.

  6. I just made this one: (but with apples instead of strawberry/banana)
    I really like it, and it’s easy, but you do have to watch it in the oven.
    it’s not super-clumpy or sweet, but I bet adding more honey &/or brown sugar would help…
    http://blog.ruhlman.com/2009/06/bananastrawberry-granola.html

  7. I always wanted to make one but it a bit complicated to make one isn’t it 🙂 But your recipe here is simple and easy to follow so I guess I have to give it one more shot, thanks for inspiring.

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