Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Granola Experiment -- Banana Tropical Granola


No two pantries are alike. And my pantry is an ever changing place, which is why I have decided to conduct the granola experiment. I love granola. However, I do not love how much a small amount of granola costs at the grocery store. I also love all different flavors of granola. And so I am venturing on an experiment this month to try and concoct my own granola repertoire with what is available each week in my pantry. Of course you can join me in this venture. Just mix and match the nuts or fruits with what you have available. It is amazing the goodies you can find in your pantry just waiting to team up with some good old fashioned oatmeal. I would love to find a recipe that closely resembles those granola balls by Quaker Oats that come in those sparsely packed snack packs. So, if you have such a yummy delight send it this way. Here is my first granola creation and I have to say it is quite addicting. Even my picky son who doesn't like hot oatmeal cereal is loving this stuff.

Banana Granola
4 Cups of old fashioned oats (no instant or quick)
1/4 C shredded coconut (this is all I had)
3/4 C coconut milk powder (I bought mine in bulk because it is a really versatile little flavoring)
1/4 C milled flax seed
3/4 C pinenuts
1/4 C chopped hazlenuts
1/2 C crushed frosted shredded wheat cereal (You know the leftovers on the bottom of the cereal bag)
1/4 tsp salt
10 Tb butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used sugar free syrup and I think it tastes just as great)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Cup coarsely chopped banana chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine first 7 ingredients. Melt butter in the microwave or over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients (except bananas). Pour over dry ingredients. Cook for 30 minutes on greased baking pans. Do not overcook! Cool and add bananas
Now I reserved two cups of this granola without bananas because I wanted to mimic my son's favorite cold cereal, Honey Nut Bunches of Oats, which is a little pricey when it is not on sale. The result got a thumbs up.

Add two cups of granola to 3 cups of corn flakes and drizzle with two teaspoons of honey. Toss gently. Mmm mmm, my boy gobbles it up.

Next week: Cinnamon Raisin Granola

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