Sunday, August 21, 2011

Homemade Granola

I've been trying to develop healthy snacks for Aubrey lately that don't cost a fortune because, well, the guy can eat. In high school, his friends told me he'd have a box of cereal for breakfast when us normal folk were simply having a bowl. So, throw in several hours of physical training per day as he goes through the new fire academy and you see what I've got on my hands here. I've been experimenting with different types of homemade granola and I think I now have a winning and wholesome combination. I've been holding off posting because I couldn't get the stuff to cluster and it would just spill everywhere when I'd eat it and the I.T. guys at work were probably sick of cleaning out my keyboard ( I once got a cornflake lodged under the "F" key for a week... it was reakin unny.) But, alas, I figured it out. Egg whites... not just for lame breakfasts!

You can do any fruit/nut combo you like with this base recipe but this is my fave.

Homemade Granola with Mango and Tart Cherries
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup quick oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup dried tart cherries, rough chopped
1/2 cup dried mango, rough chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/6 cup good honey
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
2 egg whites, whipped until foamy

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Toss the oats, coconut, walnuts, and dried fruit together in a large bowl. Pour the oil and honey over the oat mixture. Add the cinnamon and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated with the liquids.
3. Fold in the egg whites until coated.
4. Pour onto a sheet pan in a single layer. Bake until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown, covering with foil on areas getting done too quickly when needed, for about 25 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before disturbing the granola, ensuring that the egg whites set. Granola should form light clusters when scooped off. Store in an airtight container.  The clusters won't survive extreme jostling but are perfect for easy snacking and won't break your teeth like the store-bought stuff. Yay!

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