So this is one of those recipes that I’ve been meaning to post forever but for one reason or another something else got published in it’s place. The only reason I can think why is probably because I hadn’t taken any really good photos yet of it. Orrrrrrrrrr maybe I was being selfish and wanted to keep this to myself just a little while longer. Perhaps… *wink*
Granola is one of those things that literally are one of the easiest things to make. It’s great for a snack, you can add in whatever you want and eat it by the handful, on top of your yogurt or in a bowl like cereal. So okay, Mr. Fantabulous eats his covered in milk (like cereal) and that, for some reason, bothers me. It’s like it’s GRANOLA – not cereal. It’s not supposed to be eaten that way. However when talking with you guys on Facebook, a lot of you eat it that way. All I have to say about that is you’re all weird *wink* LOL
Now where he and I also differ is he doesn’t like the big clusters, he prefer the smaller pieces. I, on the other hand, dig out the clusters and then when all I’m left with is the ‘crumbs’ or smaller pieces I frown and tend to pour them into my yogurt. I won’t eat the teeny pieces by themselves. Has to be clusters.
As you can see, CLUSTERS are abundant in this recipe.
There’s no real secret or magic ingredient you have to add. The trick is all in the baking. The more you mix/stir and jostle the less clusters you have. Makes sense, huh? Now with this recipe I made 2 different types – one with the dried fruits and coconut and one just oats and nuts. I’m funny about dried fruits in my granola. Normally when you buy the prepackaged stuff (that is loaded with sugar, fat and 9 bajillion preservatives/artificial crap), the dried fruits tend to be not dried but rather petrified. I mean we’re talking part rock. I’m that person that will stand there and pick out those pieces and throw them away or put them all in a container for my husband. That’s kinda why I don’t like even cereal with dried fruits like that. It just is funky for me.
However with this recipe, adding the dried fruits in myself, where I know they were real fruit (cause they are semi-soft still) I was totally down with it. The dried cranberries were AWESOME actually! It added that hint of tartness to counter balance the nuttiness of the nuts and the sweetness of the oats. It added a nice textural contrast as well that didn’t creep me out. LOL However to be truthful, given the choice I’d personally still opt for the kind with just oats and nuts. But that’s just me. Mr. Fantabulous actually preferred his with the fruits and coconut additions. So to each their own, right?
So whatever your preference is and you love granola, then I highly recommend this recipe. Quit buying that pre-made stuff and make your own. You can suit it to your tastes, control what you put in and save a boat load of money! I mean seriously, who pays $6 for an 8 ounce bag anyway?
- 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbl honey
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats – To make this gluten Free, use certified GF oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Optional add-ins – craisins, raw coconut, raisins
- Preheat oven to 325F with the rack in the middle.
- Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in large bowl.
- Whisk in oil.
- Fold in oats and nuts until thoroughly coated.
- Transfer oat mixture to the line baking sheet and spread across sheet into thin, even layer (about 3/8 inch thick). If need be, use 2 baking sheets.
- Using stiff metal spatula, compress oat mixture until very compact.
- Bake for 15 minutes, gently stirring and flipping compressing down again.
- Continue baking for 15 minutes and stir and flip, compressing down again.
- Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove granola from oven and cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.
- Break cooled granola into pieces of desired size.
- Mix in add-ins
- Store in airtight container.