There are very few recipes that are more forgiving than granola. You can add just about anything, you can add too much of something, or you can forget an ingredient altogether and it’s still impossible to mess up. More likely you’ll just wind up inventing a nice new variation. That – and the fact that it’s yummy – is why granola is our Fun Food choice for the week.
Kids love to help make granola. Basically all you need to do is dump the ingredients into a big bowl and stir. And what kid doesn’t love to dump and stir? (Stirring tip: Rather than have our three-year-old standing on a stool at the counter, we set the bowl down on the floor so he — and the bowl — would be less likely to tip over.)
The basic idea is you take some grains, usually starting with oats, and then add any other dry or crunchy foods like nuts, dried fruits, seeds, grains, or even mini chocolate chips. Then you mix it all up with a sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup, and bake it so it gets nicely toasted. Store it in an airtight container and enjoy it for as long as a week, unless everyone eats it sooner.
We generally use this recipe, our mom’s favorite, as our standard granola. More recently, we’ve enjoyed making these Peanut Butter Granola Bars from How Sweet it Is. (We find the bars incredibly filling, but our marathon-running husband can’t get enough of them.) Also, if you want a raw version, you can make muesli, which is essentially an uncooked granola. Our favorite version is Auntie E’s muesli, which she serves with almond milk and fresh berries.
But really, the recipe is just the starting point. Throw in a little of this, a little of that, and soon you’ve got your own special concoction that you’ve adapted to your personal taste. And if your kids are helping out, have them take note of what they’re putting in the bowl so that they can write their first very own recipe.
Fun Food Saturday: Because food should be fun.