Granola

I make a mean granola. I’ve been bombarded for the recipe lately, so I thought I’d share. (And by bombarded I mean 2 people have asked me.)

Really, though, it’s more of a guiding principle of granola making than a true recipe. I always make a large batch (the recipe below is technically a double recipe, half if you want less) because it’s gone in a few days. To save time, I mix up two batches of dry ingredients since I have everything out anyway. Then I put one of them into a large plastic bag (the bag the oats comes in makes a good container for this) and then, a few days later, all I have to do is mix up the wet ingredients, stir them in and bake.

Many granola recipes have you toast the oats first. I’ve never done this and hardly find it necessary, but maybe the final product suffers, who knows. No one has ever complained. I started with a recipe I found in a cookbook but found it far too oily and far too sweet. I kept cutting back on the oil and sugar until it was just right. I tend to make it less sweet than most granola you’ve had before, since most of the time we mix it with vanilla yogurt or soymilk which adds a lot of sugar.

Granola (I get all my ingredients in bulk from Costco, which also helps to save some money)

6 cups regular oats

4 cups mixed chopped nuts/seeds (anything, really–I like pumpkin seeds, walnuts and pecans. If you want to make this a lower fat recipe, use less nuts/seeds. I personally do not believe in cooking or eating low fat.)

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup canola oil (could sub some melted butter also, very tasty)

1-2 tablespoons of flavored oil (walnut, hazelnut, etc) (optional)

1/2 cup liquid sweetener (I’ve used honey or maple syrup, though you could use agave or something else)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, etc.)

Other potential add-ins: shredded coconut (add to dry mix), chopped candied orange peel, chopped candied ginger, mini chocolate or yogurt chips.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together oats, seeds, nuts, and sugar in a bowl.

Mix oils, vanilla, liquid sweetener and honey together in a liquid measuring cup and whisk together.

Pour liquids over dry and mix well.

Prepare a large baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment. (I mistakenly bought parchment already cut into sheets, clearly it’s preferable to use a larger sheet that goes lengthwise. This step is optional, but really cuts down on the cleanup.)

Pour granola in and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice until golden. Most other recipes will tell you to spread out on a baking sheet, and again I’ve never found that necessary.

Using the parchment, lift the granola out of the pan and transfer to cookie sheet to cool.

Mix in dried fruit when cool and enjoy with milk, soymilk, yogurt, or just by itself! Good luck getting it to last longer than a few days. If any of you make this I’d love to know what you use and how it turns out!

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