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Friday, February 1, 2008

Raisin & Almond Nola

Nola is no different that granola, maybe it is different thought, it has Hallie love in it. Ben and I tend to shorten any word that can possibly be shortened. Granola became Nola, Bananas became Naners. You'll get used to the short cute, love-y names that we have for our favorite foods. But nola, I eat nola every day. At work, during the week for lunch in yogurt and for breakfast on the weekends. I'm not sure when I realized that granola existed in a non-bar form but it wasn't until recently, but almost every morning for all 3 1/2 years of college, I ate granola bars for breakfast. And yes I am that oblivious to the world.

Last week I found a recipe for granola, and thought how good an idea it was to make my own. I make my own cookies, soup, etc. why have I never though of making granola before? And besides I spend like 7 dollars on granola every week at the grocery store, this way is a lot cheaper and you can customize your granola and add in any thing you like. It is such an easy, yummy snack, or meal.

This is my second attempt at making granola so I have change the original recipe a lot, so much so it seems unnecessary to post the original.


2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal (rice crispys)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 3.9 oz individual size applesauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar
just under 1/2 cup honey
1/8 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup almonds roasted or natural
3/4 cup raisins

In a big bowl combine the oaks, rice cereal, and spices. In a separate bowl stir all of the wet ingredients including sugar, apple sauce, honey, molasses and vanilla. Stir until combined, pour wet ingredients into dry and mix throughly. Mix in almonds and raisins (or any other mix-ins that you like.)

Spread out on a baking sheet in one even layer. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes, then flip granola to other side and let bake for an additional 30 minutes on the other side. Granola will break apart while flipping, just try your best to make sure the majority of it is on the other side. If some still feels wet take out the dry granola and continue baking until crunchy an additional 10-15 minutes.One thing I must warn you about granola is that it smells so good while its baking. Its just almost impossible to wait on trying it, but you should really wait until its cooled to taste it.

The first time that I made this granola I added in the raisins after the granola was cooked, but did not like it because the raisins were not part of the actual granola, just almost an after-thought that fell to the bottom of the bag. This time I added them in before baking and the raisins exploded, well not exploded, but blew up into little raisin balls. But they shrunk down as soon as the granola was cooled, and look like normal raisins again. So don't be alarmed, however cooked raisins do taste a little different than straight from the box, so you can add them in before or after cooking, it doesn't really matter.

Store in an air tight container, and will last for as long as it takes you to eat it all. It's hard not to snack on...


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