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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Anti-recipe 9: Rae's Granola

Granola is one of those things that when you realize how easy it is to make you kick yourself for all those $5 boxes you have bought over the years.

Plus, homemade granola is So. Much. Better.

Really, it is.

I also love how you can throw in a little of this and a little of that. A perfect anti-recipe thing to make.

So, I got this mixture from my mom. Who got it from her neighbor in upstate New York about 30 years ago. I feel this compulsion to credit this woman somehow. So, let’s call it Rae’s Granola.

So, here it is.

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt around ½ cup of butter in a large pan (I use my big old roasting pan). I have also used ¼ cup butter and ¼ cup coconut oil. Keep reading for my schpeil on cooking with coconut oil.

Mix in some honey or some brown sugar. Or both. Or maple syrup. Maybe a couple tablespoons full. I like less sweet so I just use a little.

Add a little vanilla, more if you like it more vanilla-y, less if you like it less vanilla-y.

(See, what did I tell you?? Oh, the options!)

Throw in a pinch of salt.

Add a handful of wheat flour (around ½ a cup). The flour helps it all stick together.

Stir in around 6 cups of oatmeal.

Add some peanuts, raisins, sliced almonds, dried coconut (my fav!), dried cranberries, dates, etc etc.

Mix it all around really well. Put in oven. Stir every few minutes (5-10 even) until golden brown.

Here is the key point. DO NOT leave in oven until crispy. It only crisps up AFTER it cools. Or you may end up with a stinky house and a bunch of burnt oatmeal in the garbage can (can you tell I did this?? Really an awful stink.) Take it out when it is a nice golden color. The way granola “should” look.

Let cool. Store in airtight container (a ziplock bag works well).


A note on coconut oil:

I cook a lot with coconut oil. Why? Its one of these “good fats” you hear about. (for more on that read here)

A short list on the goodness in coconut oil:

"Coconut oil is 92% saturated with over two-thirds of the saturated fat in the form of medium-chain fatty acids (often called medium-chain triglycerides). Of particular interest is lauric acid, found in large quantities in both coconut oil and in mother's milk. This fatty acid has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil protects tropical populations from bacteria and fungus so prevalent in their food supply; as third-world nations in tropical areas have switched to polyunsaturated vegetable oils, the incidence of intestinal disorders and immune deficiency diseases has increased dramatically. Because coconut oil contains lauric acid, it is often used in baby formulas."

I use it for popcorn. I cook with it. I bake with it. It’s just a great thing to have around. It’s also amazing for soothing really chapped skin (and smells nice!) and can be used for bad diaper rashes or patches of eczema.

Here is another science-y article about it. (although I must admit this is the kind of thing that I read and it goes right out of my head immediately, but maybe you are not like this with science stuff.)

“Coconut oil has a unique role in the diet as an important physiologically functional food. The health and nutritional benefits that can be derived from consuming coconut oil have been recognized in many parts of the world for centuries. Although the advantage of regular consumption of coconut oil has been underappreciated by the consumer and producer alike for the recent two or three decades, its unique benefits should be compelling for the health minded consumer of today. A review of the diet/heart disease literature relevant to coconut oil clearly indicates that coconut oil is at worst neutral with respect to atherogenicity of fats and oils and, in fact, is likely to be a beneficial oil for prevention and treatment of some heart disease. Additionally, coconut oil provides a source of antimicrobial lipid for individuals with compromised immune systems and is a nonpromoting fat with respect to chemical carcinogenesis.”


  1. Yay, coconut oil! Love that stuff. I'm a huge granola fan, so I'm goin to try this. Have you tried it with almond flour or something gluten-free instead of wheat flour? I'm curious if it would work, bc I'm assuming the gluten is what makes it sticky. hmmmm.....

  2. i also love coconut oil, but i hadn't tried for excema...until tonight! i'm interested to see if it helps by morning. thanks for the tip!


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