To be more exact, Elvis lives in Burlington, in a Tupperware container, in my refrigerator. He’s also deliciously flavoured with cinnamon, maple syrup, dark chocolate, and peanut butter. Elvis, thou art sweet and savoury.
Now, why this week’s recipe has the official name of “Elvis Granola,” I don’t know. Is there a joke out there in the pop-culture world that I’m just not getting? Does the author of Eat, Live, Run know something I don’t? (I’m sure she knows many things I don’t.) I just realized I should have been listening to Elvis while making my granola – an Elvis opportunity, wasted! Swoon and collapse and fetch me my smelling salts.
ANYWAY, enough talk. As you’ve heard by now (it was on the news, right?), this week, Ami and I made our own granola. Here are Ami’s initial thoughts on the idea:
“I actually have been wanting to try my hand at making my own granola for a while…and this recipe looks too delish to pass up. It seems like making your own granola is so easy; I always feel like a fool buying it at the store. Same with hummus. People make it sound like it is so easy to make both. Why pay for it?! So, if this recipe works out, I may just start testing out other granola recipes, and, who knows, maybe I will stop ever buying granola again!”
Did Ami’s prophecy come true? Read on…
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (or miniature chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 275.
Bring the canola oil, maple syrup, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon to a simmer on the stove. Cook for three to five minutes.
While that’s cooking, mix together the oats, ground flax, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. Pour hot syrup mixture over the oats and toss well to coat. Spread out granola onto two lined baking trays and bake for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and turning trays midway through.
Let granola cool completely before adding the chopped chocolate.
*This granola will stay fresh for about a month sealed in Tupperware and kept in the fridge.
My ingredients. Like my new syrup dispenser that I bought for $2 at the Reuse Centre?
Ami’s ingredients. I want her fresh maple syrup!
My granola, all mixed up and ready to be put in the oven.
Ami’s granola. Those oats are about to be baked good. Real good.
My finished granola, looking much like it did before it went into the oven.
Ami’s granola (pictured here, complete with a poised spoon) already being consumed by someone.
All right – as usual, I’ll start with the ingredients, and how we handled them.
- Ami used coconut oil instead of canola oil (she wanted the extra health kick, and she likes the flavour more).
- I have no idea if my use of Quaker Quick Oats versus the use of actual old-fashioned oats affected my granola, but the quickies were what I had on hand, so too bad!
- I also don’t know if non-salted peanuts bought from the bulk bin are the same as dry-roasted peanuts (I don’t think they are), but I used them anyway, and if you can believe it, the world didn’t explode.
- I chopped up the chocolate myself, and even though only one bar is pictured above, I had another on reserve in case I “needed” it. I needed it.
The directions for this recipe are mostly straightforward, but I admit that I was completely flustered at one point. In my ingredients picture above, you can see that my peanut butter is not PC Blue Menu Just Peanuts Peanut Butter. I did, however, have a bit of this left in the fridge, so I used the rest of it, plus the Compliments brand, to make up my 1/4-cup of peanut butter. I had misgivings because, for some reason, the PC Blue Menu stuff never really “oiled up” (i.e. separated) in the fridge like natural peanut butter usually does. It still tasted good, but it was dry and clumpy, and didn’t spread well (and yes, I checked, it wasn’t expired). What the heck, I used it anyway. Bad idea. My syrup mixture was clumpy, too! I thought I had created the first official disaster of our cooking/baking series. But, when I poured the clumpy mixture over the oats, and broke the clumps up with my fingers, smaller pieces were left that, when tasted, were like little balls of oaty (oatie?) peanut butter (you can see them in my “finished product” picture above). I quickly mixed up another pot of the syrup mixture with the Compliments brand peanut butter, and since it looked much more like the picture on Eat, Live, Run’s blog, I figured I was good to go. Crisis averted!
After doing all the heating, boiling, and mixing, the only other thing that was a bit odd for both Ami and I was the fact that we had to use two baking sheets. I was also confused by what was meant by “lined.” Did that mean rimmed? Or lined with parchment paper? I used two un-rimmed cookie sheets, covered in parchment paper, and I placed them on the two most “middle” racks of my oven. Ami used rimmed baking sheets, but her positioning was the same, since it was obvious there was no way the sheets we had were going to fit side by side in our ovens.
Everything turned out fine, and while both of us only stirred the granola once (after 20 minutes), I forgot to turn the trays. This didn’t appear to affect the outcome, either. Success!
Ami rated her granola-making experience a whopping 5 out of 5, and while I almost agree based on taste alone, I just can’t quite get there because of my syrup fiasco, and because of what I thought was ambiguity surrounding the baking sheets and their positioning. Therefore, my royal decree delcares…4.5 out of 5. The granola is dang good, y’all!
And now for Ami’s prophecy.
- Her initial statement: “So, if this recipe works out, I may just start testing out other granola recipes, and, who knows, maybe I will stop ever buying granola again!”
- Her final consensus: “I am completely converted to making my own granola from here on out.”
Ooohhhhh, eerie! To be honest, though, I don’t think I see a reason to buy granola again, either. Carla’s kitchen is a-rockin’!
One more granola note from Ami and I – make sure you have a large Tupperware container to store the granola in because it ain’t no joke – this recipe makes granola for dayz.