Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inspired again...

No, I've not been starving my husband the last week and a half. I've only lightly fell off my own bandwagon of eating well. Our CSA share from Lancaster Farm Fresh has been overflowing these past weeks with more produce than we can handle, and in my occasional cooking fatigue, I opt for steamed or raw veggies rather than even a simple recipe from MWL. I was also momentarily tempted by the Cook's Illustrated magazine which arrived in the mail, and had to spend some time testing those recipes.

But I'm back again, with two updates, and scheming a few more. With a kitchen remodel in it's final design stages, I'm trying to cram in some good cooking before we're kitchen-less for a few days/weeks/months.

8. Simple Granola, pg. 90

This chunky, sweet granola is a simple but hearty morning munch. Because the recipe doesn't call for loads of "extras" (like seeds or other grains), it's easily tossed together and shoved in the oven for a fairly fail-proof culinary adventure. In my opinion, it was slightly on the too-sweet side, and if I were to make it again, I suppose the honey could be reduced with a slight increase of water to maintain the dry/liquid ratio. Please use honey if you have it on hand -- corn syrup is always a no-no in my book. Do your own research on corn products, if you're interested, or call me and we can talk corn-politics.

Overall: 3.7 out of 5

9. Koinonia Granola, pg. 90

Also a sweet delight, with a more granola bar-like attitude than the Simple Granola. This one ups the ante with seeds, grapenuts, and nuts. I skipped the grapenuts (since we hadn't any on hand, and why buy cereal to make cereal? not sure...) but added a bit more of all the seeds, coconut, and nuts to make up for them. I love using cashews and macadamia nuts in granola, but if you're trying to watch saturated fat intake, it's more than acceptable to substitute other nuts without sacrificing a great deal of flavor. (Nutty Fat)

This one seemed a bit tricky as to deciphering when it was ready to come out of the oven -- it never seemed to get dry. I probably left it in a bit too long (had some burn-y sides) at 35 or 40 minutes, but the result was still quite edible. A next-time change would be to use a more shallow pan, perhaps, and see if that stops the questionable oven time.

Overall: 3.9 out of 5

My testers enjoyed both recipes, and Tester Husband enjoyed them combined, though I said I wasn't willing to make two types of granola just to make one kind... :)


  1. do you ever use agave? i myself am a vegan that will eat honey, but since i keep reading about how the honey bees are dying off and all that, it's nice to know about agave. it's good for diabetics and it's usually a good sub for honey. unfortunately, it's just as expensive...


  2. I have not used agave before in any fashion. In doing a little bit of reading, it seems like one could replace the honey in a recipe like granola with agave, at a 1:1 ratio. I'll have to tinker with that in one of the other granola recipes.

  3. The simple granola is one of our favorites (I have adapted the recipe some). In fact, the kids and I just finished a lunch of yogurt, granola, and canned peaches!

  4. On page 89 there is a recipe for "Mother's Grape Nuts" so no need to buy cereal from the store.