When I mentioned that I was thinking of making granola to a co-worker Friday afternoon, I didn't expect he'd be so persuasive. After describing a spiced granola that he served under a piece of salmon, (or was it pork?) he grabbed a bottle of beer rye from his shelf and encouraged me to give his secret-granola ingredient a try. Of course I had to follow through!
Yes, beer rye is used to make beer. Don't fret, throwing some of this granola into your yogurt wont turn it into a boozy breakfast and it tastes nothing like a Bud Light. Like barley, rye is a grain used to make beer - equal parts of rye malt are substituted for the barley malt. A malt is really nothing more than the grain soaked in water. The grain germinates and then is quickly dried, the malt eventually provides the sugar and some yeast needed for the fermentation-brewing process. That's the extent of my beer knowlegde...thank the interactive Guniess museum. Saranac Roggen Bock and Sixpoint Righteous Ale are two rye beers made right here in New York, give 'em a try if you're interested.
Moving on. My lovely co-worker suggested I check out Martha's website for one of her granola recipes. Here's a tip about making granola at home...peruse a recipe to get an idea of what to do, then explore. It's granola! You don't have to worry about something rising or solidifying. Pick some mix-ins that you like and give it a whirl. It couldn't be easier. The recipe that he recommended was fantastic actually - pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, maple syrup...you just can't go wrong with it. I made a few little changes to fit my taste (and my pantry), and I hope you do the same.
In the end the granola was nutty and crispy, with a great combination of sweet and salty flavors from the dried cranberries, maple syrup, sea salt, and olive oil. This over Greek yogurt...forget about it :) Enjoy!
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup pepitas seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup beer rye
1 1/2 cups walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup cranraisins
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (if desired)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Spread evenly over the baking sheet.
3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until nuts and grains are golden brown and fragrant. Allow granola to cool before storing it in a jar or serving it as a snack!