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maple-nut granola

Posted Jun 05 2009 5:07pm

We used to have this girl living with us who had plain oats in milk for breakfast every day. Not cooked, not even microwaved, just right out of the box. I once asked her if it didn't make her stomach upset to eat uncooked oats every day and she didn't seem to know what I was talking about.

It's true - granola makes me ill. It's because of the unprocessed, uncooked, unsoaked grain. Rolled oats actually are cooked to a certain degree - the whole groat is steamed and then pressed to flatten - so they're not really raw. But this is pretty minimal processing, so eating oats without adding water to cook them is not too far off from eating a cup of uncooked rice or another whole grain. They take on water in the digestion process and I don't really want to know what it looks like from there, but it is obviously very hard on the digestive system. I end up with such a bellyache after eating granola. So I'm not really sure why I keep making it, except that after a while, I forget how much it hurts and only remember how much I like it. I could happily have homemade granola for breakfast every day, if I didn't end the day with a stomach twisted in knots. This is my favorite one. So if you can manage to eat granola without getting sick, give this one a try.

You are much better off making your own granola than buying it in the store, where even the health-store varieties are packed with sugar and oil - and you will save money in the process. The secret to really good granola is long cooking at a low heat, but I've made it this way when I need a quicker meal and it seems to work well.

5 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 c. flaxseed, ground
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped
1/4 c. cashews, chopped
1/4 c. Brazil nuts, chopped

2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 t. salt

1/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. olive oil
2 T. molasses

water for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the oats with the nuts, seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

2. Combine the syrup, oil and molasses in a separate bowl, then stir into the oat combination.

3. Spread the granola on a greased baking sheet and cook for about 20 minutes, until lightly golden, stirring once halfway through.

4. Store in a sealed container for up to a month.
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