First things first—we have a cookbook to give away!
The lucky winner of the EatingWell’s Making Comfort Food Healthy is, according to random.org, number 23!
And the person who left comment #23 is Stacy—the uber mama, photographer, blogger, crafter, seamstress, designer, artist, wine expert and chef—who I know will put this to good use, because she never sleeps. In fact, go to her blog right now, get the dish on polenta, because she is a Food Friday gal as well, and note that she had it posted at 5 a.m. If you live in the midsection of the country, MAKE HER invite you to dinner to try something from this new cookbook. I plan to invite myself the next time I’m in her neck of the woods, right after I ask her to photograph my children and sew me a bag. Congratulations, Stacy, and for the rest of you, I have a fair number of these coming up, so stay tuned and thanks for playing!
And then today’s recipe. I’ve been making versions of this Crockpot Granola for several weeks now, and it disappears as fast as I can make it. I love that it is the ultimate recipe with forgiveness—it doesn’t matter what you put in, it all tastes good. I based mine loosely on the one I found at the fabulous site, A Year of Crockpotting, but have left the confines of that recipe far behind. You will too.
To your crockpot add approximately:
5 cups oats (I get these in the organic bulk bins at Whole Foods, but am tempted to go bigger and get in serious bulk from my local co-op. Anyone want to split a giant bag with me? We put oats in everything—bread, muffins and we eat a lot of granola and oatmeal)
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil (or melted butter)
1 T flax seeds, ground
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup slivered almonds (is that the right word? Slivered? The sliced thin ones are the ones you want)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
Toss well, and cook on high for 3-4 hours, stirring often. Vent the lid slightly, so you don’t have moist and mushy granola
NOTE: with this ratio of honey and oil (or melted butter) your granola will be in cereal form, and not in clump form. If you are searching for clump-style granola, (and if you are, you are CERTAINLY a person who knows what they want in life) you’ll need to add a total of 1 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of oil or melted butter. But we opt for the lower sugar, lower fat style and the fruit adds so much sweetness that you don’t miss the sugar.
Towards the end of the cooking time, add the fruit. If you add it too soon, it tends to stick and burn.
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup dried fruit (I use raisins, cranberries and/or apricots, depending on what I have on hand.)
Remember, it will burn if you don’t stir regularly, but not the way oven-made granola can burn! There are tons of other things to add here, too, other nuts, pumpkin seeds…any other ideas? This is also a good base for gorp or trail mix—then you get to add m&ms or chocolate chips and call it a snack.
It’s good warm or cold. I keep it in a large, wide-mouth glad jar with a screw-top lid. I don’t know how long it lasts, because it never lasts that long!