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Baking Day – Part 2

Just finished up my first two projects: making homemade yogurt and granola.

I've made yogurt before, but never in a yogurt maker so this was a new adventure. A kind reader gave me a yogurt maker she didn't want any more so Kathrynne and I had fun testing it out for the first time. So far, I really liked it as compared to making it without a maker, though I wouldn't necessarily encourage everyone to go get yourself a yogurt maker unless you have access to one for free. 🙂

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We used the marked-down Horizon Organic milk I picked up yesterday and some other marked-down milk we had in the freezer along with one little carton of vanilla yogurt as the starter. The basic recipe is that you boil the milk until bubbles form on the side of the pan, let it cool to 110 degrees, take out a little and mix it with the yogurt starter, mix it all back together, and pour it into the yogurt cups in the yogurt maker and let it run for 8-12 hours.

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When I make it without the yogurt maker, I do everything the same except for putting the yogurt in a bowl covered in a warm oven overnight. It's best to use plain yogurt as a starter, but I couldn't find any small things of it at the store yesterday so I fudged and got vanilla. We'll see how it works!

The granola recipe is a new healthy one I got from What to Eat When You're Expecting. It didn't look terribly exciting but it was very healthful and that's what I was looking for so I decided I was game.

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Here's the recipe, with my tweaking:

Great Granola (Makes 5 cups)

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup 2 Tablespoons apple juice concentrate
3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup wheat bran (I added this instead of nuts, if you like nuts you could use them instead.)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Spread oats in nonstick pan and toast in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees.

Combine the raisins and 1/2 cup of the juice concentrate in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Drain the raisin liquid over the oats (set raisins aside) and add remaining ingredients. Combine well with a wooden spoon. Bake in 300-degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in raisins and press the mixture firmly in the pan. Bake another 5 minutes and let cool to room temperature.

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I doubled the recipe because I had enough ingredients on hand. I wasn't incredibly impressed with this granola recipe, though I think it will be yummy with served over homemade yogurt with some fruit. If anyone out there has a particularly yummy recipe for granola which doesn't have sugar in it and is low in fat, I'd love to try it.

And now I'm off to make banana bread and start cooking a big pot of beans.

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51 Comments

  • Kara says:

    That is so neat, I was just surfing around thinking I should start making my own yogurt (a great money saver for my house)!

  • ns says:

    hello
    thank you for all the great tips
    can you tell me where to get the yougart maker??
    which brand is good..is it easy to make in it??
    thanks

  • Bethany Heijermans says:

    This is my hubby and I’s favorite granola recipe–no sugar, but it has honey and of course, some of the dried fruits have sugar but you can limit those if you like.

    Thanks for all of your helpful and encouraging info!

    Hazelnut-Honey Granola
    3 cups old fashioned oats, uncooked (or if you get the oven-toasted kind, that’s fine; just skip Step One)
    3/4 cup honey
    4 T melted butter
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 cup unsalted hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, or almonds, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup toasted wheat germ or Grape Nuts
    1/2 cup sesame seeds
    1/2 cup dried snipped aprictos or other dried fruit(s)
    1 cup dried tart cherries or craisins
    1/2 cup golden and/or dark raisins
    1/3 cup shredded or flake coconut (optional)

    1. Spread oats in 2 jelly roll pans and bake 15 min, stirring twice.
    2. In a bowl, stir together honey, butter, and vanilla. Add wheat germ, nuts, oats, and sesame seeds, stir to coat well.
    3. Spread mixture evenly into same jelly roll pans and bake until dark golden brown, 15 min, stirring every 5 minutes.
    4. Cools in pans on wire racks (but I usually don’t cool them too long before I scrape the mixture off of the pans because mine tends to stick and then I make a mess).
    5. Transfer to large bowl and once it’s completely cooled, stir in dried fruit.

  • anonymous says:

    We sweeten up granola with raw honey instead of sugar if that helps.

  • RoseAnn says:

    You can make homemade yogurt in your crock pot!! It really does work! Here is where to go for instructions.
    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html
    YUMMMM!

  • RoseAnn says:

    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html

    You can make yogurt in your crock pot! It really works!

  • Glenda says:

    I love your blog and your commitment to healthy eating!

  • http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Cranberry-Granola/Detail.aspx

  • Erica M says:

    I don’t have mom’s recipe on hand, but here are the basics…

    15 c oats
    2/3 c honey
    2/3 oil
    1/4 c maple syrup
    nuts, sunflower or sesame seeds, raisins, coconut, wheat bran, millet, etc. basically, add anything you like!
    we always toasted the main ingredients till it was almost done, then added the goodies so they didn’t get too hard. to make it healthier mom always used unsweetened coconut, unsalted sunflower seeds, etc.

  • Natalie Wickham says:

    Hi Crystal!

    I have an awesome recipe for homemade granola that I got from some friends! I just don’t have it typed up yet, but I’ll get it to you. I’ve thought about trying to make my own yogurt, but have never attempted it. I wonder how the taste compares to store-bought yogurt…?

  • Judy says:

    Our favorite granola is Oatmeal Cookie Granola–the recipe is on my blog: http://6blessings4us.blogspot.com/2008/09/tasty-tuesday.html

  • Honey says:

    Here’s a tried and true granola recipe I got from a friend of mine. I think you will love it and find it very healthy and not too sweet. Its a lot easier than the recipe you made. And I like that this is a basic recipe that you can customize.
    6c oats
    3c whole wheat flour
    1T salt
    1c olive oil
    1c honey, maple syrup, or any other liquid sweetner you prefer (I’ve been using agave nectar lately)
    (at this point you can add nuts, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla to taste if you want)
    Place on a baking sheet and cook for 50 minutes at 250, turning the granola 4 times while cooking. Cool, then add any dried fruit that you want. My favorite variation is to put vanilla, dried cherries and almonds in mine! Then I keep it in a large zip lock bag.

  • Shannon says:

    Are you familiar with nourishing traditions and the weston A price foundation? According to their dietary guidelines eating healthy fats while pregnant is essential. Cutting out sugar is great, but you need healthy animal fats, coconut oil and olive oil for that blessing of yours.

    Here is a link to some recommendations for pregnant and nursing mothers. Many are not entirely feasible, but the concept of eating lots of healthy proteins (which it looks like you’ve been doing – great job!) and fats is one to follow:

    http://www.westonaprice.org/children/dietformothers.html

    My last pregnancy I ate much more fat and protein and felt better for a good portion of it. I hope you continue to feel well.

    Blessings,
    Shannon

    ***********************
    December212012 here: Yes, I’m very familiar with NT and we follow many of the principles in our diet, though I disagree with some aspects of it (as I do with just about all “diets” out there! :). I try to limit unhealthy fats as much as possible–especially when pregnant–and then to eat a few servings of good fats every day. However, this pregnancy I’ve been gaining a little faster than usual so I’m really trying to be cautious about unhealthful fats and only eating the minimal servings needed every day of healthful fats. I’ve felt much better by doing this.

  • Stac says:

    Does milk freeze well?? I’ve never even considered buying markdown milk cause I didn’t really think I would be able to use it before it was bad.

    ***********************
    December212012 here: Yes, milk freezes very well. I often buy it when it is marked down and then freeze it and use it for cooking.

  • Laralee says:

    I have a sweet friend that just gave us some Kefir Grains. I’ve discovered the Kefir is so much easier to make than yogurt.

    Just put the Kefir grains covered in milk (we use our raw goat’s milk) in a canning jar with plastic lid. Let it sit on the counter for 24 hours and enjoy. Don’t use metal with kefir.

    We’re making fruit kefir smoothies for lunch now : )

    Kefir is supposed to be better for you than yogurt.

    Laralee
    http://PlymouthRockRanch.com
    Recording the Faithfulness and Provision of God for Future Generations

    *********************
    December212012 here: Yes, we’ve done kefir, too. However, most in our family do not like it as well as yogurt so we mostly stick with yogurt.

  • Merrilee Stevenson says:

    Someone else posted the link to the crock-pot yogurt recipe, which I haven’t yet tried, but she also breaks down the cost-comparison, which is great.

    I’ll mention it to you again to find yourself a copy of “366 Delicious ways to cook rice, beans, and grains” by Andrea Chesman if you can. There are a few granola recipes in there, and we’ve tried a couple, and really liked their taste. (Each recipe calls for about 3-4c. dry ingredients to about 1c. “liquid-sticky stuff,” not including dried fruit additions. Besides the honey/oil sweetener option, you can try one 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk/2 Tbs canola oil, or 3/4 c. light coconut milk/2tsp vanilla extract (but that one calls for 3/4 c. packed brown sugar in the dry ingredients. I remember really liking the coconut milk flavor, but for some that isn’t an option. We also used “Wheatena” as a substitute for wheat germ, out of convenience, and liked the nutty flavor. (Although Wheatena by itself was NOT a popular breakfast food.) They all seemed to have a good deal of fat, but mostly healthy fat.

    Glad to see you’re back in the kitchen with enthusiasm and even gusto! Happy baking!

  • Lynn says:

    Please let us know how the yogurt turns out. I am curious if the vanilla will work. I would have never tried that. I really want to know. I have noticed that the quality of yogurt makes a big difference. I tried Walmart plain one time and it did not work as well. I try to use Braums plain or a higher quality plain. So please let us know.

  • Kristin says:

    My husband used to make us a very yummy homemade granola from a recipe book that you might well enjoy. It has great recipes for homemade hummus, red potato salad, Mad Dog rice salad and much more. It’s called Feeding the Whole Family. It is a whole foods cookbook. I haven’t used it in awhile, but I’m pretty sure most if not all of the recipes were vegetarian. We used it at a point when we were vegans.

  • Debi says:

    Try this one: Easy, High-Energy Granola

    Makes 25 servings

    8 cups large flake oats
    1/4 c. flour
    1/2 c. oil
    1/2 c. honey
    1/2 c. wheat germ
    1/2 c. oat bran
    1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
    1/2 Tbsp. nutmeg
    1/4 c. pumpkin seeds
    1/2 c. sunflower seeds (unsalted)
    1/2 c. sesame seeds
    1 c. currants or dried cranberries or dried apricots

    Preheat oven to 350. Pour oats in a large roasting pan and coat lightly with flour. Combine the oil and honey in a measuring cup and pour over the oats and mix well. Add the wheat germ, oat bran, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and bake for 30 minutes. Take out, stir and bake for another 15 minutes. Add the seeds and bake for last 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Let it cool on a cooling rack before adding fruit. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

    Make it your own: Add your favorite nuts, fruit, or yogurt.

  • Katy says:

    Oooo, I hope you post about the pot of beans. It sounds silly, but I haven’t a clue how to soak and cook beans, and then how to encorporate them into yummy recipes. I’d sure love to learn, because it sounds a LOT cheaper (and more healthful) to not use canned beans for everything.

  • esther says:

    Fat free Granola

    5 cups rolled oats
    2 cup puffed rice cereal (or 2 cup of whatever else you want to add)
    3/4 cups real maple syrup or agave nectar (or combo or both)
    1 tsp ground cinnamon

    Mix cinnamon into maple syrup. Pour over dry ingredients and stir, then stir some more and probably a little more until evenly coated. Bake at 300 for 20 minutes stirring 2 to 3 times during baking. Cool then store.

  • Shannon says:

    I would love to know what your kids are doing during this time? I have one and there is now way I could get all this done in one day!

  • Nichole says:

    Oh num! Im off to make this http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html that someone left a comment with! Easy and I have everything on hand! Awesome!

    Nichole

  • Rachel says:

    I found a site that tells how to make yogurt using a thermos! It worked like a charm!
    http://bean-sprouts.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-to-make-greek-yogurt.html
    I don’t have a yogurt maker and had tried making it in the oven (the NT way), but it was hit-or-miss. I will definitely be using the thermos from here on out.

  • Catherine says:

    Is there a special kind of yogurt you need to use? I want to make it in the crockpot (I was going to post the link, but it looks like someone beat me to it), but I didn’t know if there was something special I have to buy…

  • Carrie says:

    I have two questions — one is the same as Shannon’s. I really do try to involve my kids in kitchen stuff, and it worked pretty well after my first turned 2. But how can you manage to be so productive with a 1-year-old around? When I cook dinner each night, my 1-year-old often tears the house apart. So yeah, I got something done, but I have to spend just as long afterwards cleaning up. Do you use a playpen? My 4-year-old would be a good helper during ONE of these projects, but she would lose interest after that and start fighting with her sister instead or (if i’m lucky) go off and read or play by herself.

    The other question is about the milk-to-yogurt ratio. To know how much money it would save, we would need to know how much yogurt you get from how much milk. If it takes a gallon of milk (I usually pay around $3) to make 32 oz. of yogurt (also around $3), then it would be a wash. But if you can make twice as much yogurt or more with that gallon, then it would be saving.

    ***********************
    December212012 here: I’m going to try and answer the question on what my girls are doing in a separate post. However, I wanted to quick answer the question on whether making your own yogurt saves money. It does *if* you are able to get milk inexpensively. For instance, I used about $1.50 worth of milk and $0.50 worth of yogurt to make this which will result in 49 oz. of yogurt–the equivalent of approximately 8 small (6 oz. ) yogurt containers at the store. It’s not a huge savings by any amount, but the yogurt is fresher and obviously better for you because you are controlling what is going into it.

    That said, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest making your own yogurt as one of the first things you try in order to cut your grocery bill. It’s just a fun thing we like to do–and Kathrynne (my 3-year-old) especially thinks it’s cool and loves to eat the homemade stuff.

  • Anna says:

    This is my favorite granola. It is lightly sweetened with honey and you can add flax seed or wheat germ for added health benefit. I have also been experimenting with substituting coconut oil for regular.

    Combine:
    10 cups oatmeal ( we use half quick and half old fashioned)
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    2/3 cup powdered milk
    2/3 cup coconut
    2/3 cup chopped almonds (opt.)
    Combine, and add to dry ingredients:
    1 1/4 cup oil
    scant 1 cup honey
    1/2 cup water
    1 T vanilla
    Bake in a 9×13 pan at 300 for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

    There’s a picture here:)
    http://minkona.blogspot.com/2008/10/recipe-granola.html

  • Heidi @ GGIP says:

    My mom used to make yogurt all the time. Good luck!

  • Jenn says:

    WOW ~ can’t wait to try to make my own yogurt. Don’t have a crockpot but I do have an oven… :o)

  • tina b says:

    Your yogurt maker comment inspired me. I have wanted to make yogurt for a while, but do not want to leave my oven on all night. SO, I just send out a request for a yogurt maker on freecycle, and wouldn’t you know, I GOT A RESPONSE! I am so excited, and can’t wait to try it out!! Thanks for letting me in on the secret that there even was such a thing 🙂 Blessings to you!

  • Christy says:

    I really like this one. It’s from Kathleen Daelmans who was on Food Network. I would reduce the amount of sugar to 3/4 to 1 cup unpacked brown sugar. If you did that, it would have no more sugar than your version with the apple juice and raisins. I like the thinly sliced almonds better than slivered, also. Don’t be afraid of the fat in walnuts and almonds, especially the walnuts. They have essential omega 3 fatty acids (ALA), and while not as readily used by the body as fish oil is (DHA and EPA), any little bit helps. Especially with you breast-feeding and carrying a little one at the same time 😉

    Ingredients
    * 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
    * 1/2 cup water
    * 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 8 cups rolled oats
    * 2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, or slivered almonds

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

    Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and reserve.

    Combine brown sugar and water in a 4-cup microwave proof glass measuring cup or bowl. Place in microwave on high for 5 minutes and cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from microwave, add vanilla extract and salt.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, and brown sugar syrup mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Spread the granola onto cookie sheets and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and crunchy.

    When the mixture comes out of the oven, it is still very pliable. You may choose to add in dried fruit as a finishing touch at this time. When granola has cooled completely, store in an airtight container.

  • Diane says:

    Here’s another tasty granola recipe! I crave this every morning for breakfast! My girls, 5, 3, and 1 love this as well! Thanks for your blog!

    6 cups oats – not quick
    1 cup each: whole wheat flour, bran (I use a bran cereal), wheat germ, coconut (I don’t add this), sunflower seeds, sliced almonds

    1 cup oil
    ½ cup water
    1 cup honey
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp maple or vanilla extract

    Mix dry ingredients together. Mix “dressing” together and stir into granola until evenly coated. Lay in a thin layer on baking sheets. Bake 300 for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. You can bake more or less depending on how crunchy you want the granola.

    I usually eat a generous 1/3 cup serving – more was too much for my system. Tastes great with banana sliced on top or over yogurt!
    Enjoy!

  • tina b says:

    Oh! One question, though…how long does your home-made yogurt last?

  • Honey says:

    I forgot the 1/2 c water!!! Sorry!

  • Saver Queen says:

    Thanks for sharing! I look forward to trying a granloa recipe too. I have a big bag of dried cranberries that I recently bought for my home-made scones, and apart from putting them in a salad, I haven’t known what to do with them. Using them in granola seems like a perfect idea. I also have coupons for rolled oats!

  • Ella says:

    This is a granola recipe from the More with Less cookbook. It’s a great cookbook with lots of healthy recipes. The granola is reaaly basic and easy to tweak.

    7 cups of dry ingredients (oatmeal, coconut, sunflower seeds, nuts, etc.)

    1 cup of liquid ingredients (we usually use 1/3 c. each of honey, molasses and oil)

    stir it up and bake at 300 for an hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.

  • Carla B. says:

    It will be interesting to see if your yogurt with vanilla yogurt as the starter will turn out. The critical thing is to get yogurt that has active cultures (not all do) and does not have gelatin (alot do!). We once tried a yogurt maker, but it didn’t work. Instead, we used a 1-qt stainless steel thermos. Pre-heat the thermos with boiling water; pour out the water; pour in the yogurt mixture and seal the thermos. Set it on the back of the counter where it won’t be disturbed. Then 12 hrs later, open up. We strained the yogurt thru a fine colander lined with a cotton cloth to let the whey drain out. You can let is set as long as you want (you probably already know how to do yogurt cheese). Then dish up the yogurt in to your jars/containers, etc. That was the only value of our yogurt maker… the cute little jars. 🙂

  • Clair Boone says:

    I love this easy cheap one here – http://mummydeals.blogspot.com/2008/08/homemade-granola.html

  • becky says:

    i have successfully frozen plan yogurt in ice cube trays (about 2T. each) to make yogurt. i use 1 cube for one quart of milk.

  • juju_mommy says:

    On your baking part 1 I asked about your granola recipe and so I was glad to see you post your granola “experience”. LOL. Actually, I have What to Eat When You Are Expecting (and I am expecting too, end of Jan.). I didn’t care for this recipe either. LOL. With my previous pregnancy, I did a GREAT job of eating healthy and well-balanced. This time around I’m the complete opposite!

    I think the problem I have with all the granola recipes I try is that I don’t LOVE honey. I’ll eat things with honey and actually my fav. granola bar (Kashi Honey Almond) has honey in it, but I just like a little and not an over powering honey taste. So, that makes it difficult for me to find a good granola recipe that I like. Anyways…. thanks for your post!

    Have a blessed day, Julie

  • Stacy says:

    Check out Tammy’s Recipes for her granola recipe. Its easy to adjust for whatever you have on hand, and really yummy.

  • Donielle @ Raising Peanuts says:

    Just a quick tip for those of us who don’t have yogurt makers 🙂 You can form a hot pad inside a bowl and place the jar to rest with the hot pad all round it. I usually cover with a light towel too! Works great and my hot pad stays at the perfect temp!

  • Valerie says:

    Obviously you’ve already received a number of granola recipes and probably can’t possibly try them all, but I figured I would post mine anyway!!! A good friend gave me this recipe. My daughter loves it. A couple things… 1. I’ve never made it with almonds. I have used other kinds of nuts and I’ve made it without. 2. the coconut can be omitted, although I’ve never tried without another friend has and says it tastes great. 3. Although I’ve also never tried without the brown sugar the friend that gave me the recipe told me she NEVER added the sugar.

    Having said all of that, here is the recipe.

    4 cups old fashioned oatmeal
    2 cups shredded coconut (can be omitted)
    1 cup sliced almonds
    1 cup raw sunflower seeds
    3/4 cup olive oil
    3/4 cup water
    1 TBLS vanilla
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    Mix all ingredients and bake in 13×9 pyrex dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes at a time until the granola is dried. Add dried cherries, cranberries, and raisins (or whatever you like) to taste.

  • Kate says:

    I love making yogurt as well. Just wondering if you already knew this or not (I just found out) that you can freeze yogurt. This has helped with the cost of making yogurt so much. I simply buy a big tub of it when on sale. Come home and put it into a ice cube tray (1 Tbsp = 1 cube) and freeze. Once frozen I pop them out and put them in a large Ziploc baggie that is labeled yogurt starter. When I am making yogurt I take 2 or 3 of these out to make my yogurt. That way I always have starter and I can pick up yogurt when its on sale….I love saving money!!

  • Dawn in Scotland says:

    How strange, I have just literally finished making my first ever yogurt in a thermos, I wasn’t sure had I done it right, but my mum has made it before this way, bringing milk almost to the boil then adding 2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt (Total works best apparently) and putting it in the thermos, we shall wait and see. She always used a yogurt maker when we were small. Thing is I love greek yogurt so it wasn’t very money saving when I ate most of it and didn’t make yogurt!!!

  • Beth says:

    Combine in a LARGE bowl:
    1/3 cup expeller pressed coconut oil (melted if solid)
    ½ cup pure Raw honey
    3 Tbsp Dark agave nectar or maple syrup
    1 Tbsp unsulfured, blackstrap molasses
    3 tsp pure vanilla extract (no sugar added)

    Add to top ingredients:
    4 ½ cups old fashioned oatmeal
    1 cup Uncle Sam Cereal or more oatmeal
    ½ cup hard white wheat flour (King Arthur or Hodgson Mills)
    2 Tbsp Freshly ground flaxseed (optional)
    1 Tbsp Freshly ground Unhulled sesame seeds (optional)
    ½ cup dried Unsweetened coconut
    2 tsp cinnamon
    ½ cup chopped nuts Raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, raw pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.

    Mix all well with a large spoon. May need to smoosh the ingredients together a bit. Turn all out onto 2 jelly roll type cookie sheets. Bake in oven @ lowest temp with oven door open at least 12 hours to maintain nutrients & enzymes or @ 300° for aprox 20 minutes, changing out pans from top to bottom. (Keep an eye on the granola; it shouldn’t get to dark brown.) Remove to cool & spread ½ cup to 1 cup dried fruit over top of granola while cooling. (I use dried pineapple, usually) Once cooled break up with a spatula into bite size chunks & distribute fruit evenly. Store in an airtight container. (Depending on the humidity level, you may need to increase all liquid type ingredients just a bit.)

    To make as a hand held snack increase all wet ingredients, more nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews) & more dried fruit (banana chips, cut up dried apricots, raisins)

  • Dana in Alabama says:

    This is my favorite granola recipe that I got out of an organic cookbook a while back. It does have syrup in it, but no sugar, and it turns out wonderfully every time. It’s great on yogurt, ice cream, whatever, and also makes an amazing cereal. I love it with vanilla flavored soy milk.

    Earthbound Farm’s Famous Maple Almond Granola

    4 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
    ¾ cup shelled, raw, unsalted sunflower seeds (the roasted ones work fine too)
    1 ½ cups slivered or coarsely chopped raw almonds (I’ve also used roasted and salted ones, and I just cut them in half)
    2 TBSP ground cinnamon
    1 ¼ cups pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A Dark Amber
    1/3 cup canola oil
    1 cup raisins

    Makes about 8 cups

    Preheat the oven to 325 F. Place the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the maple syrup and oil and stir until all the dry ingredients are moistened.

    Spread the granola on a roughly 12 by 17 inch rimmed baking sheet. Bake the granola until it begins to brown, about 25 minutes, then stir it with a flat spatula. Let the granola continue to bake until it is light golden brown, dry and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir the granola at least once more as it bakes and watch it carefully during the final minutes because it can burn quickly.

    Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack, add the raisins, and stir to combine. Let the granola cool completely. Transfer the granola to an airtight container. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month or frozen for up to 6 months. You can serve the granola straight from the freezer. It doesn’t get hard and it thaws almost instantly – just pour on some milk.

  • Sandy says:

    Here’s a Granola recipe I use:
    4 c. old fashioned oats
    1/3 c. honey (can be part molasses)
    1/4 c. veg. or canola oil
    1 t. vanilla
    1 c. chopped pecans (or any kind you want)
    3/4 c. bran cereal
    1 c. flaked coconut (I try to use less)
    1-2 Tbls. wheat germ
    1 t. cinnamon
    After toasting oats, mix the honey and oil but not to boiling. Add vanilla. Mix all dry ingredients into pan and add liquids. Bake at 350 at intervals. of 7 min and stir each time for a total of about 20-25 minutes.

  • Emily C says:

    I was under the impression that you couldn’t make yogurt with ultra-pasteurized milk, and I thought all Horizon milk was ultra-pasteurized.

    Did that yogurt really turn out?

    ************************
    December212012 here: Yes, the yogurt turned out beautifully–the best yogurt I’ve ever made, actually!

  • Melodie says:

    I remember my mom making yogurt all the time when I was little. She didn’t have a yogurt maker. She used to “put it to bed” under an electric blanket. 🙂 It worked!

  • Terri says:

    I just made granola this morning and then got on the computer and saw your recipe. I like yours and will try it next time. I took a basic recipe that I have had in my homemade book for years and changed it a bit. I made tons of apple-butter in the fall and we can’t eat it fast enough. So I thought that instead of orange juice or apple juice in the granola I’d put in some of the apple-butter and it turned out very delicious. I like how it made it more clumpy. The mix before I put it in the oven was very wet but it evaporated very nicely.

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