Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Crock Pot Granola

Here is a little secret about me.  I am lazy.  If there is an easier way to do something, I see no point in doing it any other way.  I hate wasting my time and I tend to get bored if things take too long.

I also love granola.  I was on granola overload for the past six months but I was craving some tonight so I made a batch.  I don't like having to "babysit" my food so I avoid the oven to make granola.  Instead, I make it in the crock pot.

This recipe makes a LOT of granola.  You can half the recipe with no problems.

Crock Pot Granola

11 cups of grains (oats, oat bran, flax seed, wheat germ, etc.)
     I used eight cups of oats, 3/4 cup flax seed and 1 1/4 cup wheat germ
3 cups of nuts
     I used 1 cup of almonds, 1 cup pecans and 1 cup walnuts
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 T cinnamon
1 T vanilla
1 cup light tasting oil (coconut is great. . . I used light olive oil)
Add-ins (dried fruit, raisins, chocolate chips, coconut, etc)

Put your grains and your nuts into the crock pot.

 Put the remaining ingredients into a saucepan. 
Cook on medium, stirring constantly, until it reaches a rolling boil.  Keep it going for a minute.
Add the liquid to the grains and nuts.
Stir until coated.
Put the lid on but don't seal.  My crock pot is oval so I just put the lid on at an angle.  Cook on high for two to three hours, stirring every half hour or so. **You need the lid cracked because it will get soggy if you don't.**
After the time is up, spoon onto cookie sheets to cool.  As it cools, it will clump and get hard.  Before this happens, put your add-ins in the granola and stir.

The first cookie sheet I keep as-is.  My son hates cinnamon (so I don't tell him it's in this), raisins and any sort of fruit.   He'll eat the plain stuff.  The second side I sprinkled with mini chocolate chips.
Stir and they melt.  It's a nice coating on some of the granola for when you are in the mood for something sweet.  This I eat.

For the hubs I have a third cookie sheet (told you it makes a bunch) that I toss in some berries I dried.  We got some nice blueberries in our last fruit shipment so I dehydrated those and mixed them into the granola for him.

If we were a fancy family I would put it into cute containers and store it.  We're not so I toss it into a ziplock bag and keep it in the pantry.  It usually takes a week for us to eat it so I don't need to put it into the freezer.  I have heard you should keep it room temp for a week or in the freezer for three months. 

If I do it again:
I have a confession for this part.  I didn't watch the granola as well as I should have.  There was an NCIS marathon on and I watched a few episodes before I remembered to stir.  I burned the granola around the edges.  It wasn't a big deal. . . I just don't scrape the burned parts off.  (That's what I do with rice, too.)

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