Road trips are so fun. I think one of my favorite parts is snacking on the way--reaching into that ever present bag full of goodies, conveniently stashed behind the driver's seat. Ah the joys of propping my feet up on the dash and nibbling away at cookies and crackers and apple slices, not to mention brownies and the occasional gummy worm.
Well, we're going on a road trip this weekend, and I decided to make something new and fun to munch along the way. Above, you see the almost-finished product. I took this picture of the plain granola: rolled oats and some chopped walnuts with maple/brown sugar coating. So very easy! It only took a moment to prepare and bake. I think I'll add some dried cranberries and chocolate chips to enhance the snacking potential.
Here's what I did:
1. Combine 4 cups of rolled oats, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup nuts (I used walnuts, but anything goes--sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds... whatever you fancy). Then you set that aside.
2. In a smaller container (I actually used a pint measuring cup so that I didn't have to dirty too many dishes) combine 1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey or another thick syrup), 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or canola), 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Mix this up thoroughly so that the sugar is dissolved into the liquid.
3. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir it up. It will look darker and shinier. Then, spread the granola out on a baking sheet and put it in the oven at 325F for about 25 minutes. You'll want to stir the granola and spread it again at the 10 and 20 minute marks to keep the bottom from burning. Once you take it out to cool, the granola was harden and become crunchy (and delicious!)
4. Add fun stuff! Dried cherries, cranberries, or raisins are a great *healthy* touch. Chocolate chips are yummy too. It's always good to be creative.
*note: because of the oil, the granola won't last too long. Be sure to use it up within two weeks... it shouldn't be too hard.