How to Freeze Granola

 

Let’s stock the freezer and freeze granola for future breakfasts!
How to Freeze Granola // Savvy Eats

Welcome to 2015! I’ve spent most of the past two weeks celebrating the season with my family and high school friends who came home for the holidays, unpacking the most important parts of our house (kitchen tools, clothes, office essentials and of course, board games) and getting back into my cooking groove.

Now that we’re feeling a little more settled in our new space, I’m ready to dive back into work. Since Baby G’s due date is in nine short weeks (WHAT?), I’m going to spend much of the next few months focusing on food storage how-to posts and freezer-friendly recipes. I’ll still mix in a few preserves and recipes that use them, but because most of my cooking time is going towards stocking our chest freezer, you can expect to see a whole lot of freezing tips in the near future.

Let’s start with granola. Granola is so simple to make, and even easier to freeze. It doubles as a breakfast or a snack. It can be served with yogurt or milk, or if you’re really in a rush or only have one hand free, it can be eaten by the handful on-the-go.

Freezing Granola // Savvy Eats

I tested two things when looking into how to freeze granola:

1. Whether or not it was best to freeze it with or without the dried fruit.

2. If it was better to defrost the granola in the refrigerator or on the counter.

Here’s what I found:

HOW TO FREEZE GRANOLA

There is no need to leave out the dried fruit. Go ahead and mix it in as your recipe directs.

Allow the granola to cool completely, then pack it into glass jars or other airtight freezer-safe containers. Gently press down on the granola so that there aren’t large air pockets in the jar, which could lead to freezer burn. Leave about 1/4″ headspace at the top. Freeze. 

DEFROSTING INSTRUCTIONS

Set the jars on the counter overnight to defrost at room temperature. If you allow it to defrost in the refrigerator, it will take much longer and the dried fruit will be tougher.

Granolas pictured: Raisin nut granola and almond joy granola (via The Lemon Bowl).

P.S. Looking for more granola recipes? Check out my nutty granola and my apple spice granola.

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns // savvyeat.comIt’s a… GIRL!

We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday, and Baby G looks healthy and right on track as far as development goes. She was wiggling around too much to get a few of the pictures they wanted, so we have to go back in a few weeks…darn, we get to see our baby again!

It still feels a little surreal. Everyone was convinced we were having a boy (and had convinced me of the same), so we were especially surprised to hear that we’re having a girl. But I spent most of yesterday excitedly exclaiming “There’s a girl in there!” to the dog and “You’re going to be a sweet baby girl!” to the bump, so I think the news has finally sunk in.

To celebrate the Baby-G-is-healthy, we-can-stop-saying-‘he-or-she’-whenever-we-refer-to-HER good news, we’re celebrating with some pumpkin butter-stuffed sticky buns this weekend. We may or may not have celebrated with these last night in a breakfast-for-dinner situation, too. Hey, it’s exciting news worthy of many pumpkin spiced pastries!

These were originally going to be plain old pumpkin butter cinnamon rolls. But I’m all about the texture lately, and really wanted to include some crunchy, caramel-y nuts, so I transformed them into sticky buns. Really, there isn’t much difference between the two, except one is covered with icing and the other with a sticky pecan topping.

Let the weekend brunch planning begin!

Pumpkin pecan sticky buns are perfect for Sunday brunch! via savvyeat.com

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

Prep Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 8

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

These pumpkin pecan sticky rolls are a little time consuming, but you can do most of the work the night before your next autumnal brunch!

Ingredients

    For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • For the filling:
  • 2/3 cups pumpkin butter
  • For the topping:
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

Instructions

    For the dough:
  1. Stir the warm milk with the yeast and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes, or until the yeast is bubbly.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of the flour, the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Stir until just combined.
  3. Add the rest of the flour and knead for 3-4 minutes. You can do this by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  4. Cut the butter into 5-6 pieces and add to the dough. Knead for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Cover the bowl loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until nearly doubled in size.
  6. Punch down the dough and knead it a few times. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The dough will be fine in the refrigerator overnight, so feel free to take the rolls to this step the night before your brunch.
  7. To fill the rolls:
  8. Roll the dough into a 12" x 15" rectangle. Spread the dough with the pumpkin butter in a thin, even layer.
  9. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough up as tightly as you can. Slice the rolls into 8 even pieces, and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  10. For the topping:
  11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  12. Stir the brown sugar, butter, honey and nutmeg for the topping together in an 8" or 10" oven-proof skillet. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until it is bubbly and a shade or two darker in color.
  13. Stir in the pecans.
  14. Place the rolls in the skillet, cut-side down. Start from the middle and work your way out towards the edge of the skillet. They shouldn't fill the pan entirely yet, as they will expand and rise as they cook.
  15. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, or until the buns are golden and the topping is bubbly. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving, pecan-side up.
http://www.savvyeat.com/pumpkin-pecan-sticky-buns/