Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall Festival Granola

Fall Festival Granola, Farmers Wife Original

I am hitting a major writer's block tonight as I write this, not sure if it's the weather, lack of sleep, stress or a little person in the background going "Mommy, are we doing school tomorrow? What am I learning? Can I color instead of learning school?" Lol! Ah the life of a homeschool Mom is kicking in, but I have to be honest, I'm loving it! My little man just started his preschool year and I am so thrilled to be teaching him at home. Today we went and got ourselves new library cards and checked out all sorts of books as a sort of "Field Trip" and are looking forward to going for story time every Tuesday this fall!

Speaking of which... It has come to my attention that fall has arrived! Or well... it hasn't exactly arrived HERE in AZ (unless you consider the start of those fabulous fall flavored drinks at Starbucks! hehe!), but from what I hear it has arrived to other parts of the nation. haha! Though regardless of when the weather cools down, by September I always start to crave the fall flavors and food, and sing Christmas Carols (as seen in my last post for Cinnamon Rolls). So a few weeks ago when I ran out of my normal recipe for Granola, I decided it was time think up a brand new recipe, with a more fall inspired theme. And just like right now as I write this, I was hit with a writer's road block. I just couldn't figure out what in the world to do with this idea. Until one night, last week while laying in bed around 2 in the morning WISHING I could fall asleep I started thinking up recipe ideas. I know... I'm seriously insane but it did help me fall asleep! Anyway, back to the story, after a little bit of thinking I sat up straight in bed (luckily not waking my hubby as he was still awake too watching a scary movie) and declared I had it figured out! haha! I went to the store the next morning and promptly bought exactly what I needed for this, and I am so glad I did. This granola is amazing, it smelled fabulous while cooking, and even my Hubby ate it, and he is not a granola fan! I have a few more ideas for fall inspired granola recipes, but this is the first one! Happy Fall! ;-)

10 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Golden Flax Seed
1/3 Cup Wheat Germ
1 Package Dried Apples, diced into small pieces
1 Package Dried Cherries, diced into small pieces
3/4 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1 1/4 Cup Honey
3 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
Pinch of Allspice
3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 Cups Slivered Almonds, Pecans, Pumpkin Seeds, or Peanuts

Grease a large crock pot (6-8 quarts) with cooking spray. Then combine the oats, flax seed, wheat germ, fruit and nuts (if using) in the pot. In a medium sized bowl place the peanut butter and heat for about 45 seconds in the microwave to soften it up. Add the honey and spices and whisk to combine. Pour over the oat mixture and add the oil. Mix very well. Place the lid on, but vented with a spoon and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring EVERY 15 minutes (This is VERY important to do, if you don't parts of the granola will get very burnt while the rest will remain uncooked!). Once done, turn off your crock pot and you can either cool the granola in the pot, this will keep it slightly more moist and less crunchy, or you can spread the granola onto cookie sheets and let cool for about 1 hour, this will produce a crunchier granola. Store in an airtight container or ziploc bags. This will keep for up to 2-3 weeks (if it lasts that long!)

I LOVE this stuff!!! It tastes like fall to me, is so delicious by itself, in a bowl with cold milk, or even with warm milk making it almost more of a oatmeal... Yum! Next time I'm trying Pumpkin Puree! 4.5 stars.

Happy Crock-Potting!

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