- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Surprise the father figure in your life with a delicious bowlful of crunchy homemade granola for breakfast on Father’s Day.There are two approaches to making this a Father’s Day to remember. You can choose one or the other, or go for broke with both. One is to get up early and get the granola into the oven. It only takes about 10 minutes to put together, the same amount of time it takes to preheat the oven. Then dad’s first gift will be to awaken to the luxurious aroma of toasted maple syrup or honey and vanilla.

The other way to make this special is to prepare it in advance and gift-wrap it in a lovely jar to present to dad as an edible gift. It will be greatly appreciated.

The dry ingredients in this recipe are quite flexible. If you can’t find barley flakes, for example, you can substitute wheat flakes or just use 4 cups rolled oats. And if you have trouble finding oat bran, you can substitute wheat bran.

The granola will taste good all ways. The only way you could possibly mess up is to burn it, and of course, you won’t do that. Why? Because the aroma of finished granola is so intense and heady that it will be its own timer.

Great granola for Dad

Nonstick spray for the baking tray

3 cups rolled oat flakes

1 cup barley flakes

1 cup oat bran

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup chopped almonds

3/4 cup canola oil

½ cup light honey or maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup soy protein powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar

1 cup pumpkin seeds, optional but highly recommended

Spray a 13-by-18-inch baking tray with nonstick spray.

Combine flakes, bran, sunflower seeds and almonds in a large bowl. Combine the oil, honey or syrup and vanilla extract and pour into flakes mixture. Mix thoroughly, using your hands, if necessary.

Stir in the protein powder and salt, and mix thoroughly. (Again, use your hands.) Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden. Stir it once or twice during the baking.

Crumble in sugar as soon as the granola comes out of the oven, and let it melt in. Cool it on the tray, and stir in the pumpkin seeds as it cools. (Note: The granola will get crunchy as it cools.) Store the finished granola in a tightly closed jar in the freezer for maximum freshness. It will fit nicely in two 10-ounce jars.

Variation: Cool berry granola. You can add sliced fresh strawberries or whole fresh raspberries or blueberries directly to the granola before you freeze it.

After the granola has cooled, add up to 2 cups berries, stirring them in gently until the cereal surrounds them in a protective coating. Carefully pack the mixture into jars, close tightly and freeze. The berries will store beautifully this way and will defrost very quickly in your cereal bowl after you add milk. Makes 6 to 8 cups.

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

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