By Jeffery M. Wolf
General Contractor
St. Petersburg, Florida


Building a Better Granola...

Jeff sends a tested recipe and Ann explains the relationship between granola-making and house-constructing.

Tonight I am making my bi-weekly batch of Granola. (Is Bi-weekly twice a week or once every two weeks? For me it is every two weeks.)I use a recipe from the book, “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison. So far, every recipe Ihave tried from her book has been excellent. (I even found a way to cook Brussels Sprouts). Her Granola recipe is:

6 cups of flaked or rolled oats
1 cup of chopped nuts
I use more nuts (sliced almonds, walnuts and cashews)
1 cup of wheat germ
I have also experimented with a cup of Oat Bran to make a batch for a friend who does not eat wheat.
1 teaspoon of grated nutmeg (fresh grated from a whole nutmeg)
1 Tablespoon of ground cinnamon
I have been using about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt)

1 cup raisins
I don’t add the raisins because my daughter Meg does not like them, but it works fine to add them to your bowl when you eat. The recipe calls for adding the raisins after baking.
½ cup safflower or canola oil
¾ cup honey, golden syrup, or maple syrup.
I use more oats and three cups of nuts so I use more sweetener. I use ½ cup of honey and ½ cup of Maple Syrup. If you pour the oil into a measuring cup then add the honey and syrup, they pour through the oil and don’t stick to the measuring cup.

Preheat the oven to 300. Toss the dry ingredients but not the raisins together, then add the oil and sweet- ener and toss again to coat them (I stir thoroughly with a wood spoon so the mixture is without clumps.) Spread the mixture on two sheet pans (when I make a larger batch I use three pans) and bake until golden, turning every 10 minutes so that it browns evenly. I try to get an even spread in the pans and I take it out of the oven after 30 minutes. It gets more toasted where it is spread more thinly. I have not had to bake any longer than 30 minutes. After baking, add the raisins and let cool. As the granola cools, it will lose its stickiness and become crunchy. Store in a tightly covered jar. I use all organic ingredients and I usually have it with yogurt instead of milk. It is also very good in applesauce as a snack. I don’t know what this has to do with building except that it keeps the builder from getting hungry until lunch- time.

...Notes From The Builder’s Wife…

Actually, I see some similarities between how Jeff makes granola and how he builds beautiful homes. Here are just two examples:

Materials: as much as possible we stock our kitchen with organic, locally grown groceries, because we believe that these are healthy choices, not only for us but for the environment as well. In construction, Jeff usually recommends:

• Materials that can be locally sourced, saving fuel and transportation costs;
• Using paints, cabinetry, and finishes that contain low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds). This prevents
outgassing into the home of some fairly dangerous chemicals that adversely affect a family’s respiratory health;
• Using items that can make a big difference in how much energy or water is consumed in running the house, including types of roofing and window systems; insulation; lighting; collecting, storing, and using energy and water; and
• Recommending materials that are either recycled, reclaimed or recyclable. Also, most all of our construction waste is recycled during the course of a project. Thus scrap lumber, drywall, plaster, broken concrete and tiles, etc., are picked up by recyclers to be remanufactured into other uses such as park benches, walkways, composite wood materials, etc. An added benefit is a clean, well-organized jobsite that works to prevent accidents, saves time, and keeps the neighbors happy.

Options: After adhering to a new recipe once or twice, Jeff and I both like to experiment with it, trying out different ingredients to tailor a recipe. In the spirit of building a “true custom” home to fit the specific needs and desires of our clients, we like to present an array of choices. This can help our clients by:

• Educating them about the pros and cons for each selection they make. There are trade-offs between functionality and style, and in choosing efficiency with upfront costs and longer life span, or in choosing an item that appears affordable upfront but is expensive to operate and costly to replace;
• Explaining the value of certain systems and materials that are not readily visible, but provide a means for the
home to operate efficiently and safely for years to come; and
• Having available highly skilled artisans who can help bring to life our clients’ most delicious dreams of

# # #Copyright © 2013 by Jeffery M. Wolf All rights reserved.# # #

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