I love granola. I make it all the time, because I love it so much. I eat it by the handful whenever I pass the cupboard. It doesn’t have any calories, if you eat it in small amounts. Derek loves it too, and since I don’t like to buy boxed breakfast cereals, it comes in handy whenever I don’t want to make hot breakfast. Which is only about 6 days out of 7, so not that often. So I’ve tried lots of recipes from books and internet, and I’ve mixed up some of the elements (no, Katie, not those elements) to fit my own taste. I’ll admit freely that I have an incurable addiction to the C12H22O11 group, namely: sucrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, galactose, mannose. So this granola might be a touch too sweet, if you’re a normal human, and not one that shares DNA with me or Derek. If you’re related to one or both of us, you will love it.

Here’s the recipe for the version I made today:

Almond Cranberry Granola

6 C regular rolled oats
1/3 C oat bran
3/4 C chopped raw almonds
2 1/2 t cinnamon
2/3 C pure maple syrup if you’re like me, 1/2 C if you’re normal (NOT pancake syrup!!!)
1/4 C fresh almond butter
2 T canola oil
2 T molasses
1/4 t pure vanilla extract (please don’t use the fake stuff. Just leave it out if you don’t have real vanilla. You don’t want your granola tasting like plastic.)
pinch salt (leave out the salt if you leave out the vanilla)
3/4 C dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350o. Spray a large rimmed cookie sheet with oil. In a large bowl, combine oats, oat bran, almonds, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, almond butter, oil, molasses, vanilla, and salt. Mix well with a fork or whisk. Pour into dry ingredients and mix well. Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes to prevent burning the edges. Let cool completely before adding cranberries. Store in an airtight container. I never refrigerate granola because we eat it so fast it can’t go bad.

You may, of course, use any nuts you like, and any dried fruit. I will not hunt you down. I really like it with walnuts and raisins, but I don’t add the almond butter. If you don’t have almond butter and don’t feel like blending up some, just leave that out and up the amount of oil to 1/4 cup instead. You don’t have to have oil, but I find that the oats toast better with oil added. Melted butter is nice, too.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I would like you to note that I have just received my 1st degree black belt in Code-Fu. If you can tell me why, you are probably higher ranked than I. Derek-San is a 3rd degree black-belt for the amazing work he did with the photos and text-wrapping on yesterday’s post. I have much to learn.

If you are the praying sort, please pray for my baby girl, Kiki, who will have her cyst removed tomorrow. And pray for me, that I can keep it together during the operation. And pray for Sheila’s mom, Diane, who has had her chemo and radiation therapy postponed, due to infection that hasn’t cleared up yet.