After my last lunch post, several people have asked me about how I make granola. I have tried a variety of recipes, because I am crazy about granola. I think yogurt, granola and fruit is the best breakfast/snack/lunch/comfort food ever. Once every few weeks, I make a big batch of granola. I don’t really use a precise recipe—it’s more of a basic formula that can be modified to your taste, mood, and what you’ve got in the pantry.
- 3 to 4 cups rolled oats
- 3 cups raw nuts and/or seeds, such as: sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, cashews, almonds, unsweetened shredded coconut, etc.
- 2 cups dried fruit (optional), such as: raisins, currants, berries, apricots, or dates
- 1/3–1/2 cup oil, fruity olive oil or coconut oil is especially delicious, but I often use plain old canola
- 1/3–1/2 cup liquid sweetener, such as: maple syrup or honey
- 1–2 teaspoons spices, which could include: ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc. You could also use citrus zest.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Preheat your oven to 325˚ F. If your oil is solid at room temperature, heat it up until it is liquid. In a large bowl, mix up your oats, nuts, and spices. Add the oil, sweetener, and vanilla extract to the oat mix and stir with a large spoon or spatula until well incorporated. Dump this bowl of goodness onto a parchment or Silpat lined large sheet pan (you can also use two sheet pans if you don’t have a big one). Stick it in the oven and stir the granola ever 15 minutes to ensure even browning (set a timer—trust me). The granola should take about 45 minutes to brown up nicely. Watch it toward the end, because it goes from golden to overdone in about 5 minutes. Let it cool on the baking sheet and add in your dried fruit at this point. Once it is completely cool, pack the granola into glass jars and it will stay fresh for a month or more, but probably won’t last that long. It’s so delicious, you can give it away as a gift if you add a pretty ribbon and a card.