Granola and Yogurt For Newbies

I’ve been reading about granola and yogurt.  Evidently, some people put them together and call it breakfast.

I, myself, have only experienced this one time — at a mid-price little bed-and-breakfast in the mountains of New Mexico — and frankly, I was not that impressed.  The granola was made of hard bits of dried fruit mixed with hard bits of rolled oats and other grains.  It was pretty much impossible to chew, and without the yogurt, would have been too dry to swallow.  The yogurt was a paste-like, inert carrier for the granola.  We were polite and ate a few bites– then went looking for a breakfast café.

However, today, I was reading through several interesting blog pages and stumbled on this:

The Granola Variations

Which then led me to this:

Alton Brown’s Basic Granola Recipe at the Food Network

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

—————–

Between these two — I suddenly realized that my B&B experience with granola had been seriously lacking.  The biggest problem is that  it included some bits that I wasn’t so crazy about to begin with — much less when dredged in unsweetened, unflavored library paste.

I eat yogurt all the time, completely of my own free will — I really like it with a little honey, or occasionally a bit of fresh fruit or apple butter mixed with it.

This is a hint.

And while I get the whole unrefined – unembellished natural foods thing — there is something to be said for creativity and variety.  The “Granola Variations” blog post linked above includes a pumpkin spice granola that makes my mouth water (and I certainly intend to try that one, too.)

So I’ve set about to propose a few yogurt/granola variations of my own, in hope of finding a really healthy, high-calcium, high-fiber, not-too-sweet, not-too-dry, whole-grain, breakfast with fruits I like, nuts I like, grains I like — and yogurt I like, all in the same bowl together.  And preferably for under my daily allotment of calories.  So, I’m going to start with Alton Brown’s “Oat Cuisine” granola recipe –> and sprout some wings and fly with it!

These are going to be my first tries at this new conglomeration — I’ll post results and pics when I’m done.

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Let’s start with my favorite nuts, favorite spice, favorite grains/cereals, and favorite dried fruits.  I will pair this with Greek Yogurt mixed with a little honey, and maybe a little more cherry butter —

Chericot and Hazelnut Harvest Moon Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 c crushed Quaker Oat Squares cereal
  • 1 c Rice Crispies
  • 1 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cherry butter (or apricot butter)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 t vietnamese cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup diced dried apricots

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine fruit butter, oil, cinnamon and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add apricots and cherries, and mix until evenly distributed.

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For this one — I’m going to try the old trick of mimicking another food I really like — Blueberry Muffins — but in a different food-type.   Again, I’m aiming for unflavored greek yogurt, with a little honey, and maybe a dollop of blueberry butter….

Blueberry-Lemon Muffin Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 c Cherrios
  • 1 c Rice Crispies
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup pepitas
  • 3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup blueberry butter
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T lemon zest
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup dried blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, cereal, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.

Combine dried blueberries with lemon juice and lemon zest, spread out on a cookie sheet, and set aside to air dry.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, fruit butter, vanilla, and salt. Combine oat and maple syrup  mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add blueberry-lemon mixture, and mix until evenly distributed.

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This one will vary most from Brother Brown’s canonized text.  First — It will be a dry blend — not weighed down by the oil, sugar, and syrup of traditional granola.  Maybe it’s just a “mix in” for yogurt — or a calculated breakfast cereal mix to be eaten with milk.  Either way, it’s higher in fiber, and lower in sugar and moisture.

According to my handy-dandy recipe evaluator (via Calorie Count at about.com ) This will make 44 x 1/2c servings.  Each serving will have 119 calories, 19.4g carbs, 4g fiber, 3.4g sugar, and 3.3g protein.  Add that to 6-oz of Greek Gods Yogurt (honey flavor) for totals of 350 calories, 33.4 carbs, 4g fiber, 15.4g sugar, and 9.3g protein.  Not to mention, 1/3 of your day’s calcium — and tons to B-vitamins.  This is a good breakfast.

Breakfast Cereal / Fruit Blend

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Total cereal
  • 1 c crushed Shredded wheat (not frosted or filled)
  • 1 cup Grape Nuts
  • 4 cups All-Bran (nuggets, flakes, or original)
  • 2 cups Rice Crispies
  • 2 cups Cherrios
  • 2 cup Quaker Oat Squares
  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 2 cups Just Strawberries (freeze dried)
  • 1 cup Just Bananas (freeze dried)
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried blueberries

Directions

Combine all ingredients and store in air-tight container.  Serve either with milk or yogurt.

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Resources: Food companies are listed on my blogroll via the front page (left side) — and many of these great products can be found (at excellent prices) on Amazon.com!

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One thought on “Granola and Yogurt For Newbies

  1. Pingback: Muesli Cereal Recipe | Suburbhomestead's Blog

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