Friday, June 27, 2008

Lola's Friend Phil's Phenomenola Granola

Phil and his wife Gail sell Lola Canola Honey at the St. Albert Outdoor Farmers' Market for me every summer. Phil is a big honey fan--using it over the years mainly to make homemade granola (which until very recently HE ATE EVERY MORNING!)

He first made granola a couple or three decades ago--using the recipe from Frances Moore Lappe's book Diet for a Small Planet. Over the years he's adapted ("simplified" is what he claims!) his granola-making techniques to create his own unique combo.

So here we go, in Phil's words:
I make a big batch at a time, so you might want to cut this in half or even more.

Step 1) I put about sixteen cups of rolled oats into a big roasting pan and put them in the oven at 400 degrees.

Step 2) After about half an hour, I take the pan out, stir it up well, turn the pan around (ovens don't seem to heat up evenly somehow), and put it back in for another fifteen minutes or so.

Step 3) Then, I take it out and stir in several handfulls of raisins and several more of dried cranberries.

Step 4) When they're all stirred in, I add about half a cup of Lola Canola honey (it HAS to be Lola Canola or it just doesn't taste right!) which I've liquified in advance.

Step 5) After I've stirred the honey in thoroughly, I add about a quarter to a third of a cup of canola oil and stir that in well too.

Step 6) When that's all done, I put it back in the oven, still at 400 degrees, for another ten minutes, at which time I take it out and stir thoroughly again.

Step 7) After it's cooled for about half an hour or so, I add about two cups of ground sesame seeds (which I grind in the coffee grinder), and several handfuls of sunflower seeds, walnut bits, and almond flakes--and stir it some more. (The original recipe had me adding the sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and almonds before adding the fruit, honey, and oil and putting it all back in the oven for a while, but I've read so much stuff since then about the value of eating nuts and seeds raw that I just add them after it's all cooked.)

You likely figured out that stirring is very important for the granola at every stage; you can't stir it too much.

The final touch: I keep ground flaxseed in the fridge, and I sprinkle it on my granola (and stir it in) before I add milk--for the omega-3 stuff. I don't add it directly to the granola when I make it because apparently flax goes rancid quickly once it's been ground (and you have to grind it or it tends to go through you undigested).

And that's it!

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