Tasty breakfast food (also found in bar form, though not in bars per se) which at first glance appears to be scrapings from a forest floor. Called Muesli in Europe. Despite the natural and healthy connotations, contains more fat than its equivalent weight in cheese.

Is said to be similar to San Francisco in that once you get rid of the nuts and the fruits, all you have left are the flakes.

pesudo_intellectual is close to correct about the relationship between granola and muesli, but in my experience (restricted to the USA) they are different entities. Muesli has most of the same ingredients as granola (dried fruit, nuts, and rolled oats, rye, or barley). However, Granola also has oil and liquid sweetener, such as honey or corn syrup added, and is baked. This is why it's crunchy and forms nuggets. Muesli is uncooked and unsweetened, so it's softer and finer-grained, no pun intended.

Granola is not only tasty, but easy to make, and can have many different forms as anyone who sees the bulk bins of it at the co-op can tell you.

4 or 5 cups of oatmeal
About half a cup of wheat germ
A quarter cup of brewer's yeast
A cup of chopped dried apples, or whatever other dried fruit you want. I usually use a cup each of apples and dates, but you can use anything you want.
A cup of walnuts, or whatever nuts you want. I usually use a cup each of walnuts and pecans.
Cookie sheets

What you do:
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then add the oil, honey, and vanilla. Add these slowly, stirring them in as you go. You want the wet ingredients evenly spread through the dry ingredients so they start to stick together a little. You want it slightly chunky and damp, not massively sticky and soggy.

When you have it at about the right consistency, spread it on cookie sheets and bake it at 300° until it's browning on top. This usually takes about 40-60 minutes, so I usually check it about every 10-15. After it's done, it's good to get it off the sheets fairly quickly as it becomes stickier when cool.

Eating correctly during the holidays is especially difficult for me, so when I go over for holiday feasting and festing I usually bring something heathy and fun to eat. My philosophy has become that as soon as I make a mistake in eating to go right back to eating right at the very next meal or snack time; this persistence really pays off over time. By now my family is used to this and actually look forward to it! It's a good idea to prepare little samples with a recipe card attached because many times people have called and asked when January hits with its New Year's Resolutions. This is one terrific recipe from my gym instructor. For those of you who don't know, I've been a member there for almost three years now.....yay for me! I've lost 40 pounds, 6 dress sizes and the doc wants to trade cholesterol counts. The thin person inside has come out woo hoo! It's fat free and who counts calories when it's something this good for you! Moderation is the key so a good serving would be between ½ to ¼ cup.


Preheat the oven and the cookie sheet to 325º (this adds an extra crunch when the mixture hits the hot cookie sheet). While it's preheating mix together one can Eagle Condensed Milk (fat-free), 2 cups of oats, 1 cup Grape Nuts Cereal, 1 cup Fiber One Cereal, ½ cup sunflower seeds, ½ cups slivered almonds ½ cup wheat germ bran, 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

Spray the warmed cookie sheet with Pam cooking spray and spread the mixture evenly. Bake 35- 45 minutes depending on how crunchy you like it. When you're done baking add a cup of dried fruit. Some other goodies you might want to try: coconut flakes, peanuts, raisins, different kinds of cereal or if you're in a really decadent mood M&M's!

Ah, granola.

(Note to self: Insert witticism here regarding "food of pseudo-hippies everywhere." Be sure to segue into the actual recipe before all readers have fled.)

The point of granola is to prepare an instant food in bulk. Don't bother with a small, paltry batch; these directions make a lot of granola. I'm sure the recipe will scale down just fine, but I've never tried. What's the point? It keeps for weeks at room temperature.

Yeah, I know it's not in metric units. Suck it up, I thought I was doing pretty good to measure at all. If you require decimal numbers, check here.

Mix these in a Bowl of Enormous Proportions:

I'm still playing with the best piece size for the almonds. Lately I've been tossing them in whole or just chopping them in half, but you should cut them finer if you like smaller chunks or thin slices. Likewise, it should work to use coconut flakes instead of the shredded stuff— I've been meaning to play with that, so send me the report if you try it. This is also the time to add walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds or any other nutlike entity your sick little mind can devise.

Preheat the oven to 250 ° (...Fahrenheit, of course. Not in metric, I says!)

Combine these in a saucepan:

I use canola oil. Safflower is good, too, as is Mazola if you have nothing else. Put the pan over low heat and give it a few minutes to warm up. The idea here is just to warm everything so that the honey will flow freely and get absorbed by the oats, rather than try to mix a pile of cold, oily honey with a big bowl of dry grain. Don't wait for the stuff in your saucepan to boil (Honey scorches easily and you're losing vanilla flavor every minute as it evaporates), just get that honey runny, sonny!

Pour the oil, honey, salt and vanilla into the bowl of oats, and stir it all around until the oats are evenly coated and all the oil and honey are fully absorbed. It should be damp, but not wet.

Spread the granola in a large, flat pan or three. I like my two-inch–deep 12"x17" baking pan because it holds the whole batch at once, forming a layer deep enough that I can get away with checking on it less often. Cookie sheets work if you want to watch it closely while it bakes and have it get done fast, but an average-sized oven will only hold a couple of sheets at once. In the end it may take as long to fret over many small batches as to ignore one big one.

Put the granola in the oven and leave it there for a while, stirring it whenever you check its progress. How often to stir depends mostly on how thin a layer you've got; the thinner it's spread, the faster it bakes, and therefore the easier it is to burn it to a crisp. Using my thick-layer approach, I leave it in the oven for a couple of hours, stirring about every half-hour. When it's brown, crisp and toasty, it's done. When it turns black and catches fire, it's burnt. Don't feel bad, everybody does it.

Let the granola cool, then mix in:

The apricots should be cut to a size that pleases you, as should the dried banana, mango, apple, blueberry, kiwi or watermelon you use in combination or substitution.

Put it in away an airtight container and enjoy. I eat it with yogurt, soymilk and at least two kinds of fresh fruit on top. One bowl keeps me going through a full morning of physical labor, despite my usual appetite for three or four servings at every meal. Let no person say that hearty breakfasts must contain bacon!

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