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Flavor First
December 2018



Homemade Holidays
By Cheryl Forberg, RD


Homemade Holidays


I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the less I care about receiving gifts. First of all, I don’t really need anything. I have every kitchen gadget known to man, my closet is full, I wear little jewelry, and since we’ve learned to enjoy a minimalist lifestyle – I don’t need any tchotchkes either –thank you!

But enough about me. Whether we’re talking about religious holidays, birthdays or Kwanzaa, I like to give homemade gifts that I know my loved ones will enjoy and use. Whether it’s a gorgeous bottle of vanilla extract, shiny packets of dried persimmons or tomatoes from our garden, or dry rub mix for barbecues, my gifts always seem to be well received. I will admit, we have been stuck in a candy rut making salted caramels for everyone for the last too many years. I just decided it’s time to try a new recipe.

This year, I’m making my homemade Grainola. The ingredients are easy to find, fairly inexpensive, and I can make huge batches if I need to. I can also tailor it to personal preferences (my sister doesn’t like sesame seeds, so I leave them out for her) and I can vary the nuts and/or dried fruit so it’s different every time.

I would encourage you to follow the recipe the first time and change it up as you like the next time. Sometimes I vacuum seal it in packets and top with a festive label. Other times I use my favorite jars. Either way, I hope you’ll give it a try. It’s crunchy, not too sweet and totally addicting.

Grainola

The ingredients for this addictive recipe can be combined in minutes. Slowly toasting the grainola in a low oven allows for even browning. This large recipe yields four quarts of grainola, but it won't last long. Store it in the freezer for optimal freshness. Serve with milk and additional fresh or dried fruit if desired. For a gluten-free version, use gluten free rolled oats, gluten free oat bran (instead of wheat bran) and increase the rolled oats by 1 cup and omit the wheat germ.

Yield: 16 cups (3½ pounds); 32 (½-cup) servings
Preparation time: 1 hour


Ingredients:  Homemade Holidays


6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup low-fat soy flour
1 cup raw wheat germ (see Note below)
1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup wheat bran or oat bran
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (see Note below)
1/3 cup untoasted sesame seeds (see Note below)
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup honey (or agave nectar)
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup raisins or dried berries

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine oats, soy flour, wheat germ, dry milk, bran, coconut if using, walnuts, and seeds in a large mixing bowl.


Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine oats, soy flour, wheat germ, dry milk, bran, coconut if using, walnuts, and seeds in a large mixing bowl.

Combine oil and honey in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Heat until mixture is warm and well combined. Do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour oil mixture over dry ingredients and combine well. Divide mixture between 2 ungreased 15 x 10-inch baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to ensure even browning. Stir in raisins (or dried fruit) during last 10 minutes of baking. Cool completely and store in airtight containers.


Pour oil mixture over dry ingredients and combine well. Divide mixture between 2 ungreased 15 x 10-inch baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to ensure even browning. Stir in raisins (or dried fruit) during last 10 minutes of baking. Cool completely and store in airtight containers.

Note: It is important that the sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ are raw and not toasted, otherwise they will burn during the slow toasting process.

Nutrient Analysis: per ½-cup serving

Calories 213

Prot 7 grams

Carb 27 grams

Total fat 9 grams

Sat fat 1 gram

Poly fat 3 grams

Mono fat 5 grams

Choles 0 mg

Fiber 4 grams (Sol 1 gram)

Sodium 17 mgs

Variation

Muesli and Dried Fruit

1/2 cup Grainola
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup dried blueberries or another dried berry

Combine Grainola, milk and berries in a serving bowl or storage container. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Before serving, top with additional fresh fruit if desired.