Memaw’s Homemade Granola
A long time ago, my mom turned me loose to collect the fallen walnuts in our backyard and crack them all open. I was six years old and took my job very seriously. Armed with a hammer from my dad’s toolbox, I squatted next to a crack in the cement walkway, balanced a walnut on the crack and smashed it to bits with the hammer.. An hours worth of work usually resulted in 1/4th cup of usable walnut meat. Not surprising since I was more interested in smashing the walnuts than gleaning their meat, but the days of walnut-smashing will always be a fond memory for me.
The good news for you is that they sell walnuts in the bulk-bins now along with the other nuts in the health food section. This Granola is an excellent chance to follow your heart instead of the recipe. Get wild, throw in some pumpkin seeds or hazelnuts, that’s how my Great Grandma would have wanted it.
This is her recipe and like my Great Grandma the recipe has no room for pretension, ego, or unnecessary steps. I like to make a batch of this on a cool afternoon while the aroma of toasting granola wafts around the house. I imagine that I live in a victorian house on a hundred acres, with a lovely garden out front that weed’s itself. This image is usually shattered by the timer going off or a Semi truck roaring down the street.
But back to the granola – As amazing as my Grandma was, there’s a couple things that her recipe didn’t teach me and I learned over the years of making granola on my own:
1. If you want granola clusters like the store-bought kind, you need to add a lot more honey, agave, or maple syrup so that the oat’s can stick together. I like this recipe however, because it cuts down on unnecessary sugar.
2. Never roast your granola at a high temperature, it will burn. You must go low and slow.
3. If you forget to stir the granola, you will have a nice, toasty top layer and uncooked oats on the bottom which is not very delicious.
I love eating the granola with yogurt, honey and berries, or with milk like cereal (Psst, it’s really good with almond and coconut milk too!). There’s a lot of possibilities here. If you want to get Pinteresty with it, store it in a mason jar with a decorative cloth screwed down inside the lid or top smoothies and oatmeal with it. Or you can go Tony Style and eat it right out of the jar like trail mix. Happy Granola Making!