Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Anything Goes Granola for a Mark Bittman Pantry Raid (Plus Giveaway Winner!)

I don't have a regular "Things I Am Loving This Week" post but I do love Mark Bittman, our new cook at I Heart Cooking Clubs and I also love the recipe I picked, and the book it came from. And I love having a good giveaway and so I am announcing the winner of my cookbook giveaway at the bottom of this post. BTW--If you entered and must find out if you won, you can go do so but I do expect you to come back and read the post! ;-)

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we are celebrating spring cleaning by having a Pantry Raid, using up any excess items we have sitting around our pantries in a Mark Bittman recipe. I consider my freezer to be an extension of my pantry as I store many of my flours, nuts and dried fruits there so that they stay fresh in the warmer weather. Since I have an excess of nuts (my Mom likens me to a squirrel, storing them for winter), I thought Bittman's Anything Goes Granola would be a great way to use them up. I also had a large amount of rolled oats, dried fruits and shredded coconut on hand, and plenty of spices so this truly was a pantry raid appropriate dish.

The granola is from "Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating" which is not a Bittman cookbook but rather his plan for eating in way that is good for health, weight and the planet. The book makes sense and advises eating whole foods, veggie-based meals and limiting the amount of meat consumed. (Bittman personally eats vegetarian for breakfast and lunch and enjoys meat in moderation for dinner--which helped him loose 35 pounds and improved his blood levels). The book has 75 simple recipes, which in true Bittman style allow for lots of adaptation. (It's a great book and I recommend it if you have an interest in whole food, healthy eating and cooking)

The recipe can be found in the book on pages 168-169 or a version of it can be found at the New York Times site, here. My specific ingredients/adaptations are in red below.

Bittman says, "Granola is a versatile snack and breakfast food. Unfortunately most packaged stuff is usually too sweet, more like candy than cereal. Though some of the smaller production brands are nice, it remains worth making and customizing your own. Usually granola has a high proportion of rolled oats, but you can add different rolled grains like wheat, rye or kamut. Play with the flavor by tossing different nuts and seeds into the mix, adding a teaspoon of vanilla or ground spices like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, or nutmeg (alone or in combination), or using any chopped dried fruit--dates, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots, pineapple, crystallized ginger, or banana chips."

Anything Goes Granola
"Food Matters" by Mark Bittman
(Makes about 9 cups)

5 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant) or other rolled grains
3 cups mixed nuts and seeds, (I used a mix of chopped walnuts, pecans, mac nuts, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, & flax seeds)
1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or other spices to taste (I used 1 tsp each of cinnamon and cardamom, and 1/2 tsp each of ground ginger & orange zest)
1/2 to 1 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste (I used a mixture of both & about 3/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla, optional
1 to 1 1/2 cups raisins or other chopped dried fruit (I used a mix of 1 1/2 cups of dried pineapple, papaya & cranberries)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, cinnamon, sweetener and vanilla if using; sprinkle with a little salt. Toss well to thoroughly distribute ingredients. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. The granola should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier it will be.

Remove pan from oven and add raisins or other dried fruit. Cool on a rack, stirring now and then until the granola reaches room temperature. Put in a sealed container and store in refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.

Notes/Results: Yum! Every time I make granola, I wonder why I ever buy it--it is just so good when you make it yourself. This is a good base recipe, although I am glad I added more spices than the recipe called for as it was perfect with the three teaspoons, I don't think one teaspoon would have been near enough. I liked the mix of honey and pure maple syrup which along with the spices, vanilla and salt gave a lot of layers of flavor. I love the pre-chopped no-sulfite. low-sugar dried pineapple and papaya I buy from my local co-op and the mixture of fruit was great--the cranberries added some nice tartness. The recipe makes a lot of granola which keeps well and is great topping yogurt, or eaten with milk (or almond milk as in the photo above), or just grabbed by the handful to snack on. (Bittman also has a recipe for Fruit and Cereal Bites in the book that you can use it in). You also can reduce the amount you make, or like me, make it all and give some away--it makes a great hostess gift. A keeper recipe and one to play around with different fruit, nut, seed and spice combinations.

You can check out how the other IHCC participants cleaned out their pantries and find out what they made by going to the IHCC site here.

***Giveaway Winner***

I am happy to announce the winner of my recent giveaway who will receive their own copy of "The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook" by Amy Riolo. I wish I could give each of you this fabulous book. Since we kick it old school here, I wrote down the names of everyone who left a comment about why they wanted to win, tweeted the giveaway, or was a follower or started following Kahakai Kitchen (one entry slip for each of those actions and comments), and then I randomly drew out one name.

And the winner is:

It is Kristen from Whatcha Eatin'? Congratulations Kristen! If you email me at debinhawaii@gmail.com with your shipping address, I will get the book out to you this week. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Have a wonderful rest of your week!


  1. That granola looks awesome! I like the sound of eating vegetarian 2 meals a day. Do-able and healthy.

  2. Congrats to the winner! I love how so many of Bittman's recipes are just guidelines that he advises you to expound on. Delicious!

  3. I have such a weakness for granola and love this version with the mac nuts, the flax, and the cardamom. I've been looking at a lot of his granola recipes and I want to make them all ;-)

  4. What a treat. I can eat granola out of hand so I usually don't keep it in the house - way to many calories for these old hips :-). I am, however, really tempted by this recipe. I'm a big Bittman fan and love almost everything he does. Congratulations to your winner. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. I only eat homemade granola, it's so much better than store bought, plus I know exactly what goes in it. I'm going to have to look for this book, it sounds great.

  6. I really need to start making my own granola. I think it would be a wonderful addition to my pantry!

  7. Granola with almond milk sounds like a great combination.

  8. Yum! I keep meaning to make my own granola. I was "going" to try Nigella's, now I'm going to have to try Mark's!

  9. Thanks so much Deb! I'm very excited about this book :o)

  10. Congrats to Kristen!

    I lvoe Mark Bittman too ... and your anything goes granola looks amazing, Deb. Like so many things, granola is soooo much better when homemade!

  11. Yum! I love granola and your version is gorgeous. I prefer mine without cinnamon for some reason, but I would totally dig in anyway ;) Homemade is definitely soooo much better than storebought sweet-stuff! Congrats to your winner :D

  12. What a great idea for using up those pantry odds and ends to good purpose! I used to make granola all the time, years ago, and need to get back to that. As Bittman says, most of the ones you buy are way too sweet.

  13. love granola! after making it once I've never gone back to buying it. congratulations to kristen :)

  14. Love the granola and bet it is delicious!

  15. Usually when I enter a drawing I fold a corner, it works most of the time and my name is drawn :( Well congrats to your lucky winner, I'm really jealous ;)
    The granola is great! I have had it on my list of things to make forever, just looking for that perfect recipe. I love the idea of giving away extra for hostess gifts. Much more personal that those scented soaps I grab on the way out the door. This recipe looks like a winner! ~LeslieMichele

  16. Dear Deb, thanks for inviting me to your wonderful blog, via Foodbuzz. I see you are a Pacific North Westerner and now live in Honolulu ... how exciting! Raiding the pantry is so necessary, especially if you buy in bulk and pick up items to try but never get around to. I adore dried cranberries, your granola looks so fresh and less glycemic than store bought. I agree with Pam who only eats homemade granola.
    Culinary tours, interesting! Thank you Lee Ann.

  17. I am not very familiar with Mark Bittman - I love the sound of his recipes and how they allow you to adapt them. I might be joining you over in the cooking club. You made such a great batch of granola - a successful pantry raid!

  18. Wow, your granola sure looks delicious, I can just snack on it all day long :-)

  19. This look super delicious....am going to try it. Btw, how do you make the picture changes color,,,any technique you use

  20. I like your method of choosing the randon winner, I could never get myself to write everyone's names down, I don't have the patience!
    I've been meaning to make granola at home, so that I can control the amount of sugar and oil that goes into it. I started a new job recently and sure could use a portable and filling snack for all of those long hours. This recipe looks delicious and simple!

  21. Foodycat--thanks! I am liking the partial veggie thing too--it is do-able for sure. ;-)

    Joanne--I agree--I love having a good base that I can play with and expand on. ;-)

    Kim--I am a granola fan too--I am anxious to try some more of Bittman's versions too. ;-)

    Mary--thanks! It can be dangerous--I have to hide it in my cupboard! ;-)

    Pam--It is a great book--an easy read and good recipes. ;-)

    Jenn--Since you make everything else, granola fits right in for you! ;-)

    Andreas--I like the lightly sweet flavor of the almond milk with the granola--it's a nice combo.

    Joanna--try both! ;-) I am sure Nigellas is good too.

    Kristen--my pleasure! I am sure you will enjoy the book and the yummy recipes. ;-)

    Diva--thanks! Yep, I vow never to buy it again. ;-)

    girlichef--thanks! The cinnamon really doesn't overpower when it is mixed with the cardamom and other spices--but you could always leave it out.

    Claudia--thanks! it is really nice to be able to control the sugar and fat by making your own.

    Kat--you are smart! I sometimes just buy a flax seed one I love but I have decided not to buy it anymore and keep making my own. ;-)

    Pam--thanks! ;-)

    LeslieMichele--thanks! I am sorry you couldn't fold the corner down on your slip to win. ;-)

    Lee Ann--thanks for stopping by. I look forward to seeing more of your blog and recipes. ;-)

    Reeni--I hope you join us--i think you will love Mark Bittman and the ability to adapt the recipes--it is fun. ;-)

    Juliana--mahalo! ;-)

    msiagal1usa--thank you! I am not exactly sure what you are asking but if it is the frame colors changing, I use a program called picnik that has different frames and fonts and editing tools.

    Christine--Thanks! It can be a pain to write them down but I find drawing the names is fun and more satisfying! (I'm a geek!) ;-)

  22. That is some fantastic granola. I love the variety of dried fruits you added. Big fan of dried papaya. Yum!

  23. I love granola, but have never tried making my own. I think Im going to have to give it a try, yours looks so very yummy!

  24. Deb your granola looks gorgeous - great photos - and I bet it tastes as good as it looks. I hadn't made my own granola for years until just a couple of weeks ago - it was good, but needs a bit of tweeking. I need to try this one as soon as I finish my present batch.

  25. I always love the looks of granola, I want to eat it so badly....

  26. My goodness that granola looks tempting. I've actually never met a granola I like, until now that is. I love the fruit choice that you used. I'm going to have to give this one a try. Thanks.

  27. Your granola looks healthy and beautiful! Mine is never as colorful. I will have to give this a try, and thanks for the book info, I think I will be picking that up.

  28. Lori--thanks! It's one of my favorite dried fruits too. ;-)

    oneilslab--once you try it you won't want to buy it again! ;-)

    Sue--It made me realize I need to make it myself more. Hope you like this one. ;-)

    Jenny--thank you!

    Carla--I think it makes a difference when you get to make it yourself and control what goes in it. ;-)

    Tiff--thanks! ;-) Hope you like the granola and the book. ;-)


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