Country Inn Granola

On Friday, 10 years after our first camping trip together, Mimi, Jessica, Lianne and I went back to Bon Echo Provincial Park for a weekend of lake swimming, fire building, and scaring off racoons.  A lot’s happened in 10 years – we’re better travelled, better educated, and probably more serious than our fifteen- and sixteen-year old selves, though we’ve happily retained our ability to laugh ourselves to tears.  We’re also better cooks.  Coming from a food-focused group of friends like we do, it was clear from the first camping-planning e-mail that we’d eat well.

Since my camping days predate my cooking days, however, I have no go-to camping recipes, and most of my childhood camping memories weren’t relevant –  Dave and I don’t own a cooler, let alone a camp stove, and whatever food I brought had to last through 5 hours of TTC and Greyhound travel.  After some consideration, I brought a tupperware of muffins and a ziplock bag of Michael Smith’s Country Inn granola.

Notes: I never have all the ingredients that this recipes calls for on hand, which is for the best because I don’t have a mixing bowl big enough to hold them all.  This time, I had not quite enough oats, no wheat germ or flax meal or sunflower seeds, and no vanilla extract – but I swapped in the seeds from a scraped vanilla bean, a generous pour of sesame seeds, double the wheat bran, and cup of chopped hazelnuts, and came out with a just-as-good result.   This recipe is a forgiving, adaptable thing.  And while it’s not as healthy as the lemon granola, it’s got a more familiar, classic taste.  We ate it over plain yogurt with chopped bananas, raspberries, strawberries, and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Growing up should taste good.

Country Inn Granola

from The Best of Chef At Home

Ingredients

1 cup honey
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 cups rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup flax meal
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 cups raisins or cranberries

—————————————————-

1.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring honey, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla to a simmer.  Remove from heat.

2.  In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except for the raisins/cranberries.  Pour honey mixture overtop, stirring until evenly coated.

3.  Spread granola evenly on baking sheet, and bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring three or four times to prevent burning.  Allow granola to cool to room temperature before adding raisins and storing.

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