Crunch Time

It takes me forever to develop a recipe.

I don’t know how that freak Rachel Ray does it.

She is like some sort of food savant.

She seriously sits down and writes a bunch of recipes which then become a best-selling book in about .04 seconds.

Since I have been actually trying to measure ingredients and write down recipes, my food has taken a  turn for the worse. Cooking was much easier when I just threw a bunch of ingredients in a bowl, tasted, and added whatever else it needed. Plus, it didn’t matter if I screwed something up because I was never following a recipe in the first place.

I could just call it something else and no one would ever know.

All this extra verbage adds up to me having to develop recipes in stages, especially when it comes to desserts. I needed something crunchy for a particularly awesome snack that I am planning on making for next weekend. I tried the recipe using graham crackers but the end result was vomitous. Plus,  graham crackers don’t really fit the nutritious bill, in my opinion.

I stared into the cereal cabinet (ok, you have discovered my vice. I am a cereal monster) and my eyes settled on a box of Kashi Golean Crunch.

Hmm….

Crunchy granola. That could work.

I made the recipe using ground Kashi cereal and it tasted awesome!

Except……

I was feeling kind of Milli Vanilli-ish by using a pre-made product.

Dammit.

Now I would have to make my own granola.

Natural deodorant, toothpaste, and bra burning are probably in my future.  In my defense, making things from scratch is cost-effective and way more fun.

Have you seen how much natural granola costs at the store?

Somewhere around the $6-9 dollar range for about 12 oz.

That can mean you are paying as much as .75 cents per serving.

I can make it for about .27 cents per serving and it would cost practically nothing if you decided to leave the nuts out.

For my mix, I used quick cooking oats, puffed wheat, and almonds.

Puffed wheat, you’ve heard of it.

Maybe you’re more familiar with the crazy looking bear hawking his Sugar Crisp Cereal.

Oh, excuse me.

They’ve renamed it to Golden Crisp.

That makes it better.

 You can buy plain, old puffed wheat with no added sweeteners which is perfect for granola since I am about to add some sweetness of my own.

I started by chopping the nuts.

And mixing all of the dry ingredients together.

Then I added honey.

And a touch of molasses

A sprinkle of cinnamon

And mixed it all up.

Divide the mixture evenly on two cookie sheets lined with foil

And pop into a 275 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Being the fickle mistress that granola can be, I checked on it around the 20 minute mark since the cooking times varied each time I made this recipe. You are looking for an even, golden brown coloring.

When it had the color I was looking for, I took it out of the oven to finish crisping up.

I was really trying to make big clusters of granola like in Golean Crunch, but since I wasn't using a recipe, I can pretend that I really was trying to make traditional granola all along.

Did you notice I didn’t use any oil?

That means this rings in with about 80 calories and 3 grams of fat per quarter cup compared to traditional granola which can have 150 calories and 7 grams of fat.

Here’s the deal my little  granolies. There is fat and a good dose of sugar in this recipe, but the fat comes from the almonds which are pretty much the superman of the nut world. Consider it SuperNut. Supernut has the ability to lower your cholesterol, protect your heart, and give you a shot of vitamin E and other antioxidants (source).

As for the honey, it may be beneficial for regulating blood sugar and also plays a role in converting glucose into glycogen, which your body needs during sleep and excercise (source).

But if you are watching your fat and sugar intake, you can easily decrease the amount of honey by half and omit the nuts.

Granola

2 cups quick cooking oats

2 cups puffed wheat cereal

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/4 -1/2 cup honey

1 tbs. molasses

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. water

Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees and line two baking sheets with foil.

In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, and almonds.

Add honey, molasses, cinnamon and water.

Mix thoroughly.

Divide evenly onto baking sheets.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes (longer if needed) until evenly browned.

You may want to stir half way through baking time.

Remove from oven to cool completely and crisp up.

About these ads

One thought on “Crunch Time

  1. Pingback: Sunflower Power « foodofmyaffection

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s