Homemade Granola & Happy Memorial Day!

Posted by on June 2, 2010 in Blog, Breakfast, Desserts & Treats, Family Favorites, Vegetables & Vegetarian | 14 comments

Granola - 31

I know the Memorial Day Holiday has already passed, but, as always, I am behind on my foodie posts. I cook faster than I write. Or, maybe I just have too much to write, much like I talk too much, and therein lies my problem?!? Albeit late, I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day.

On Sunday, we had a nice family BBQ with bebe dada’s family. Bebe E had her first outdoor pool experience and was able to splash her feet and stand on the first step, with confidence. She seemed to be captivated by the water. I’m pretty sure she’s going to be a fish. She loves splashing around during bath time and it seems she’s naturally transitioning to the cool water pool. Baby swimming classes this summer… ?

Bebe 6.3.10

I think my sister-in-law took this photo and conveniently cut-off my head. LOL.
Actually, this would have been a nice photo of bebe E and mama but that’s ok.

Dahlia - 2

Dahlia - 1

Beautiful dahlias in the garden.

At our party, out of the blue my sister-in-law and her husband asked me if I knew the meaning of Memorial Day and why we (as a country) celebrated this day. For a split second, I felt like I was in the 2nd grade, put on the spot to answer a very important question that I really wasn’t sure how to answer. :)

The other day, this same topic came up during a phone conversation with my mom. In Japanese, she made a comment referencing Memorial Day as the day to remember those loved ones we’ve lost, and also to pay our respects at their final resting place. I responded in English with, “Huh? I thought this was a government holiday to acknowledge those lost in military service, not everyone, i.e. family and friends who have passed.” My mom responded in Japanese with, “Hmmm, are you sure about that?” When my mom questions me, I start to doubt myself… That’s the little kid in me.

Anyway, I shared this conversation with my sister-in-law and her husband, and I told them that I believed Memorial Day was a day to honor fallen military personnel. Then they asked me what Veterans Day was for? *Sigh.* Again, I felt like I was in the 2nd grade because I really wasn’t sure of my answer, but I told them (with conviction) that I believed Veterans Day was to salute both living and fallen veterans, and recognize their military service and sacrifice. (As a management consultant I was once trained by my director to respond to questions with conviction, because confidence = believability & authority. On the other hand, I could have went with response #2, also taught to me by my director, and this was used when I had absolutely NO clue: “That’s a good question… let me get back to you on that.” Let me state for the record that I am no longer a management consultant for good reason. Ha-ha.)

So when I got home that night, I Googled. It’s ok… you can call me a nerd. :)

Here is what I learned about Memorial Day.

  • Http://usa.gov – This is a good source of information and is the official government portal of the U.S. Government. This is the source of the following information.
  • Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868. Decoration Day was established to decorate the graves of those who perished in the Civil War with flowers.
  • Major General John A. Logan (former soldier and member of the House of Representatives) declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed this date was selected because flowers would be in bloom all across the country at this time. (That makes sense to me!)
  • The first large observance of Decoration Day was held in 1868 at the Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington D.C.
  • In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, NY as the birthplace of Memorial Day, formerly Decoration Day. It was not until after World War I that the day was expanded to honor those who died in all American wars, not just the Civil War.
  • In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress and would be observed on the last Monday in May.
  • In December 2000, to ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act” was passed. The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3:00 PM local time, on Memorial Day for a moment of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.

I have friends and family who have served in the military and thankfully they are alive and well, but there are many fallen soldiers who deserve remembrance and respect for the blanket of security they help to provide so that others could live safely. While a 3-day holiday weekend is a great time to BBQ and celebrate with family and friends, let’s all remember the meaning and importance of Memorial Day. :)

What does this have to do with homemade granola? Unfortunately, not a thing.

Back in January, our friend Dr. Eyes gave us homemade granola as a way to thank us for some holiday gifts. The granola was so delicious! It was so much better than store-bought granola! I immediately hopped onto FoodNetwork.com and started looking into granola recipes and settled on one by Ina Garten. Then a month passed, then another, and another… with no homemade granola. Talk about procrastination! Then I saw a post by a friend, The Hungry Artist, about two months ago, and was motivated once more to make homemade granola but once again… more time passed.

Finally, two weeks ago, I made my own version of homemade granola using Ina Garten’s cherry, almond and cinnamon granola recipe but I didn’t use dried cherries and baked all of my dried fruit – bad idea. The small bits of dried fruit burn.

Better idea would have been to simply use the Artists’ granola recipe instead of Ina’s. She has a wonderful post on making granola and I recommend checking that out. Below is a loose granola recipe, and I use the term loose because I didn’t really measure the fruits, nuts, or honey. :) Over the holiday weekend, I made a second batch of granola and it turned out perfectly. It took me 6 months to finally make homemade granola and now I’ve made it two weeks in a row. It’s THAT good. I’ll never buy store-bought granola again!

Follow this link for The Hungry Artist‘s granola recipe.

Homemade Granola

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablepoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
  • 2 cups dried shredded sweetened coconut
  • 4 cups dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, sliced apricots)
  • 2 -3 cups dried nuts (cashews, whole and sliced almonds, sunflower seeds)
  • Cinnamon

1) Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.

2) Whisk together canola oil, honey and brown sugar. I measured the oil and eyeballed the honey to match the amount of oil. Whisk until incorporated.

3) Mix oats, nuts and shredded coconut in a large bowl and pour oil and honey mixture over. I hate coconut, but baked, crunchy coconut is absolutely delicious in granola! Mix until all ingredients are wet. Line baking sheet with foil and spray Pam cooking spray. Spread granola in a thin layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle cinnamon generously over the oats and nuts. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently toss the granola with a spatula. Return to oven and bake additional 10 – 15 minutes, making sure to toss the granola so that it browns evenly.

4) Let baked granola cool. Then transfer to a large bowl, toss with fruit and enjoy!

I store the granola in a large tupperware in the fridge. The granola is so good that it only lasts a few days at our house. We use it as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, fruit, or better yet, we like to eat it as is. It’s a great snack food! I made a few granola gift bags to give away to friends.

Granola - 32

Once you try homemade granola, you’ll never want to eat store-bought again! :)

Cheers,

Judy | bebe mama

 

Homemade Granola
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tablepoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups old-fashioned or rolled oats
  • 2 cups dried shredded sweetened coconut
  • 4 cups dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, sliced apricots)
  • 2 -3 cups dried nuts (cashews, whole and sliced almonds, sunflower seeds)
  • Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together canola oil, honey and brown sugar. I measured the oil and eyeballed the honey to match the amount of oil. Whisk until incorporated.
  3. Mix oats, nuts and shredded coconut in a large bowl and pour oil and honey mixture over. I hate coconut, but baked, crunchy coconut is absolutely delicious in granola! Mix until all ingredients are wet. Line baking sheet with foil and spray Pam cooking spray. Spread granola in a thin layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle cinnamon generously over the oats and nuts. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently toss the granola with a spatula. Return to oven and bake additional 10 - 15 minutes, making sure to toss the granola so that it browns evenly.
  4. Let baked granola cool. Then transfer to a large bowl, toss with fruit and enjoy!
  5. Note: I usually store the granola in a large tupperware in the fridge.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.

14 Comments

  1. avatar

    The recipe looks great. Your baby looks adorable.

  2. avatar

    Your daughter is adorable and thanks for the education about Memorial Day–2nd grade came and went a loooong time ago for me. :-)

    I think I’ve seen Ina make this granola on her show, but I’ve never tried it. Sadly, I still buy mine but I hope to remedy that soon! Thanks for posting this!

  3. avatar

    Funny How I would have never thought to make granola…great job! when i saw granola Your baby is so cute with her little hair :o)

  4. avatar

    I need to make some of these bars for work time health snack.

  5. avatar

    She is tooooooooooooooo cute! I’m totally on board about making granola.

  6. avatar

    You SHOULD take your baby to swim classes (though it is kind of a hassle with all the changing, the swim diapers, etc.)if you can. My son loved it at 10 months. Flash forward a few years after not taking him, and he hated it — hated getting his face wet! Now, he can finally swim, but it took awhile, and several swim classes. I think if you start early and are consistent with it, though, they naturally take to it!

    Also, thanks for the link to my site! I’m so glad you tried homemade granola! Yours looks delish.

    • avatar

      You’re welcome! I’m glad to hear your son is swimming now. I think I will definitely look into swimming. It’s a huge sport where we live so it looks like we’ll have a lot of baby swim options. :) I guess if I start her this summer though, it sounds like I should continue every summer so that she doesn’t “forget” how fun it is.

  7. avatar

    I wouldnt be able to answer that! I would have told them; let’s google it. haha

    The granola looks so good! I’ve never thought of making it. I know the homemade one is always better than the store-bought!

  8. avatar

    Hi Judy,
    Ohh….Baby E looks so cute and adorable. I always remember I had a photo at home took when I was 2 years old with my little bikini on in the baby swimming pool. I wish I still keep that bikini …..(sigh)

    I love granola since the first time I’ve tried it so I’m really happy now I know how to make it by myself at home. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  9. avatar

    Don’t laugh-I need help. I’ve got a canister of steel cut oats in my pantry thinking I’d throw together a quick meal for my kids for breakfast. Little did I know-these take FOREVER to cook (or I’m doing something wrong). Any chance you have a solution on how to use up those oats? I’m guessing I can’t make homemade granola with them…

    • avatar

      Oh.. I’m definitely not a professional food expert. I just love to cook.. and eat. I’ve never cooked with steel cut oats. Aren’t those things pretty hard when they come out of the canister? I doubt that they would be any better baked in granola. Sorry! :(

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