I’m a Granola Kind of Girl (or How I Get Crunchier, Everyday)

So, we had a break in the heat today. Thank you, Jesus. I was able to use my oven without feeling like I was going to melt. I am refusing to turn on the air-conditioning in MARCH! Not going to happen. I just tell people I’m being a tight-wad. So, today, I “roasted” a whole chicken in the crock pot, which is what we are having for dinner tonight, and I’ll use the bones and left over bits to make stock overnight in the crock pot as well. Yum. I see chicken and homemade noodles in our future. However, in the oven today, I have made a giant batch of granola, 3 loaves of bread, a 2 lb batch of roasted carrots and…nope, that’s it for today. I posted on my Facebook page about what I was doing, and after my Mom requested I bring her some granola when we go to Michigan for the Girl’s spring break, and my cousin said it sounded yummy, I told her I would share the recipe here today. I Jawsie-steined (yeah, like Frankenstein) two recipes for granola together. I have the recipe for the granola that was made at church camp when I was a kid, and a recipe out of an Adventist cookbook, by Mark and Tinnie Finley.

Here is what I did:

  • 14 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. wheat germ
  • 2 c. coconut (shredded, from a bag is fine)
  • 1 T. salt
  • 2 c. slivered almonds (any nut will do, pecans would be nice)
  • 1 c. roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 6 T. brown sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients together well in a very large bowl, except the brown sugar. In a separate container mix the wet ingredients & brown sugar together. Pour the wet into the dry and mix well, I usually use my hands. Pour into 2 large pans (I use my roasting pan and my 11 x 15 Pyrex baking dish), and bake at 225° for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Let it cool down, then I put it in my 1.5 gallon airtight cereal container…it fills it almost to the top. Serve it however you want, with fruit, in yogurt, with milk, on ice cream, add some to your pancake batter, whatever you want. My 12-year-old will eat this every morning for breakfast, until it is gone.

If you like your granola to have “clusters” in it, I have heard that you can add a beaten egg white to your wet ingredients, and it will cause it to form some clumps. If you like your granola with dried fruit (we do NOT like raisins in our cereal) once the granola is cooled, add whatever you want. It is a recipe that I have played with a lot. I’ve reduced the oil, swapped out honey for brown sugar (so I increased the water a bit from the original recipes). If you want to use honey, use a bit less water.

I have read other bloggers saying that they are becoming unintentionally crunchy. You know, CRUNCHY. However, I don’t think I fit the Urban Dictionary definition:

Crunchy:  Adjective. Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc.

Also used to describe establishments where alternative foods and products are sold, i.e. natural food stores.

The last way anyone would describe me is “left-leaning.” I am actually very, very conservative. Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity conservative. Small government, pro-life, separation of church and state, conservative Christian, keep the government out of my house/family/life/bedroom, Constitution loving, Right-Wing Nut Job. That being said, I like to know what is in my family’s food, and what kind of chemicals I’m putting in their environment (by that, I mean our home). I have started using less commercial cleaners, I have begun making our own laundry soap, hand soap and body wash (okay, I only make the Hubby’s body wash currently.) So,  yep, in my mind that makes me a bit Crunchy. And it doesn’t hurt one bit. As for the “environment” in general…sure, we try to keep our waste down, but I have zero qualms about burning our trash, burning wood for heat (which will be happening this coming winter, Lord willing), driving my car, using the propane we cook/heat with currently. It is what it is. Do I recycle? Not so much. Do I use reusable grocery bags? Yes, for the bulk of my grocery shopping as that is done at an Aldis’ store. Do I drag my own bags to Wal-Mart? No way, but I reuse those plastic bags around the house. I’ve cut down on using my dryer, and we are putting in a new clothes line, since the one here at the new house is under trees, and tick infested (ICK!) So, for now, I’m going to continue calling myself crunchy, as I quietly (oh, who am I kidding I’m never quiet) become more and more crunchy by the day.

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