Friday, March 14, 2014

Sweet Crunchy Granola

Granola cascades from the mason jar. A Pinterest worthy picture and a mess on the floor.

Yesterday, the Mad Scientist went to the DMV to transfer our car title, pay our property taxes and register our vehicle in accordance with the law.  Due to some finer points of the law, today, the Mad Scientist, Littlest and I all went to the DMV and successfully  brought all people on the title, documents, incurred two three dollar transaction fees to withdraw cash from an ATM since debit cards are not accepted (though credit cards are), transferred our car title, paid our "property taxes" along with a $150 surprise called HUT (Jabba the is probably related) and registered our vehicles in accordance with the law.

As anyone who's ever been to the DMV in North Carolina can attest, you will probably be in need of therapy after the experience.  If not anger management classes like me, at least snack therapy.  That's where this granola can be especially wonderful.  It's definitely a sweet treat, but I still feel a little virtuous eating it since it is made with whole grains.

(Before I move on with this blog post, I had a high school substitute teacher who grew up in East Germany during the Communist time period.  He described life in East Germany like this, "Instead of going to the DMV once a year, you went anytime you wanted to engage in legal commerce.  It made illegal commerce very enticing.  I remember that we would sneak around buying food, soap and clothes just the same as the drug addicts would by their next high." After going to the DMV today, I have reaffirmed that I definitely hate Communism).

Now back to our regular programming: I never liked homemade granola before I started to read food blogs, because my mom's granola is a little goopy and overly sweetened in my opinion.  I thought the best granola came from the General Mills or the Cascadian Farms. Upon my food blog reading adventures, I learned that every good food blogger has a granola recipe, and you can mix and match based on your tastes and preferences.  Here's a blog post with 20 different recipes just in case you don't believe me.

This is my recipe, sweet, crunchy, heavy on oats and fruit, light on nuts and of course, a sprinkle of chocolate love.  Its good enough to redeem an afternoon at the DMV (you know it must be good).

Homemade Granola

5C Old Fashioned or Steel Cut Oats (not quick cooking)
3/4C Brown Sugar
3-4T Water, Honey or Corn syrup (Don't tell anyone, but I like the corn syrup version best)
2T Melted Butter
1t Vanilla Extract
2t Cinnamon
1t Nutmeg
pinch of salt

1-2C add ins (dried fruit, chocolate chips or nuts)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a very, very large bowl (or better yet an ice cream bucket), combine all ingredients except oats and add-ins. Consistency should be granular but spreadable (add more of the liquid ingredient if necessary)
3. Add oats and coat thoroughly (if you are using nuts as an add in, add these too.
4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread oat mixture onto cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 45-75 minutes (depending on preferred doneness, we like ours almost burnt). Stir oat mixture every fifteen minutes.
6. Allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container (or a mason jar if you like to be fancy like me)


  1. I will have you know that my granola is quite famous at our women's retreat. I do have a trick for making it crunchy instead of goopy: bake it in a convection oven!

    1. That's a good trick, since you are so fancy with your convection oven :)