Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oat Bran Granola

If there are two things that I can appreciate, it's homemade granola and recipes that use up oat bran. My family is pretty notorious for purchasing enough food to last through the apocalypse so there are always multiples of everything. The thing to beat in terms of amount of duplicates though has always been oat bran. God knows why this ingredient gets purchased every time there is a grocery shopping trip but it does and as the child living away from home, I am frequently the beneficiary of their excessive oat bran.

I have made oat bran muffins before and I still make them from time to time but...

Really? Bran Muffins? Could I be more generic?

And so now some creativity makes its way in to my kitchen with some oat bran granola. It uses up a half cup of oat bran and it happens to be an excellent and delicious snack. I'm not so sure about nutritious but it certainly isn't terrible for you and oats are kind of a super food. This recipe will take a bit of planning though (or at least it did for me) because it uses powdered milk-- an ingredient I don't frequently have a need for. It is very much so impossible to buy a paltry half cup of powdered milk though so prepare yourself to continue cooking with it.

I used dried cranberries and pecans in this one but, like most granola, any nut and fruit combination will work.
 I don't think I ever even got to try this cereal with milk, I just kept grabbing handfuls of it every time I walked by. It was really good I think because it's not overwhelmingly sweet. I certainly have enough oat bran to make another batch though. I used a recipe I found at the inquiring chef who calls it the world's best granola. yum!

2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
3 tsp vanilla
1 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, pecans, and the oat bran. In a smaller bowl, mix together the powdered milk, salt, oil, honey and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and combine well.

2. Spread the mixture out on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden, mixing halfway through. 

3. Remove granola from the oven (it will be slightly soft still but will crisp up as it cools) and mix in the dried cranberries. Let the granola cool then store in an airtight container.

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