Reminder: This blog for people who are eating, or who want to eat, a whole food, plant based diet, as described by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn in the documentary “Forks Over Knives,” and his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. The food is from these categories: all vegetables except avocado, all legumes, all whole grains and products made from 100% whole grains (no added fats), and all fruits.
*I described in a previous post how it’s useful to make certain foods in batches, and which foods work well as batches for me. Hopefully, you will create your own batchmaking process, for foods you like which are amenable to it.
Place one 32 oz. bag of Bob’s Red Mill organic extra thick rolled oats in a big bowl. Mix together 3/4 cup water, 1 cup real maple syrup, and 4 teaspoons vanilla extract. Pour the liquid over the oats, and mix with a folding motion using a big spoon, until all the oats have had contact with the liquid. Take time to mix very well. I just took a recipe for granola and substituted water for the oil, same amount.
Spread the oats on parchment paper in a sheet pan (or two pans), smoothing out the oats to an even thickness of about a half inch. Place the pan(s) in the oven, and turn on the oven to 325 degrees. I think pre-heating is a waste of energy in most cases, except for baking something that has yeast or baking powder in it. Set the timer for 23 minutes.
Turn off the oven and take out the pans. This is a good time to sprinkle and stir in chopped nuts, if they are included in your version of WFPB (i.e., you’re young and don’t have any heart disease.) Move the oats on the edges to the center with a big spoon, and then press the pile down so the less browned center oats now move to the edges.
Place the pan(s) back into the oven and turn on the heat again to 325 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes more. Carefully reach into the oven and take a small spoonful of the cooked oats. Cool them so you don’t burn yourself, and taste to see if they are crunchy enough. If not, let them bake a few more minutes, or better yet, turn off the oven and close the oven door. This will let some evaporation occur, which will make them crunchy. Keep tasting every 10 minutes or so. When you judge them ready, take the pans out (oven off), and leave them to cool on the counter undisturbed.
When they are cooled all the way to room temperature, spoon them into dry Mason jars using your wide mouth funnel, cap them, and store them in your pantry or cupboard (not the refrigerator).
This granola is excellent as a snack, or to sprinkle over a dessert. Top it with a fruit mixture, like mashed banana, chopped strawberries, and shredded apple (Ed calls this his “pie”), or with blueberries and almond milk. Or eat it out of your hand or with a dry spoon. We ain’t proud.
Next: Mushroom gravy