If you like granola, and if you like nuts, this recipe is for you.
I make it every couple of weeks – Hubby and I go through it like wild fire.
Here’s what my granola container looked like yesterday morning:
Not the best early morning vision. So I got cracking.
Here’s what I bought:
3/4 pound slivered almonds
1/4 pound pistachio (in shell)
1/4 pound walnut halves
1/2 pound dried cranberries
1 pound old-fashioned rolled oats
At home, I already had:
Maple syrup (the real kind – always)
So, I spent about $14.00, and this recipe makes about 16 cups of granola. Which lasts Hubby and me about 2 weeks. How does this compare with store-bought granola? I can’t say for sure. But, what I do know is this: when you make your own, you know what goes in (and more importantly, what DOESN’T go in), and you can adjust it to your taste.
I like LOTS of nuts, and lots of cinnamon.
Here’s what I do:
Gather together your ingredients. (I forgot to include the cinnamon in this pic.)
and preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
I like to toast separately all of the oats and nuts before baking. I think this enhances the flavor, and it’s not that much extra time or work.
Toast the oats over a low flame until they turn golden and smell “oaty”. Stir often and watch carefully. Look out, they can burn in an instant.
Throw down your pistachios on your cutting board
I buy the ones in the shell because they are a little bit less expensive. You can, of course, use whatever nuts you love the best.
Deshell the nuts, and rub them in your palms to get rid of the papery coats they usually have.
There are always a few that I can’t open. Does anyone have a tip for opening these?
Then chop the nuts to your desired bite-sized piece.
Spread out your toasted oats on two cookie sheets. This allows plenty of room for the nuts you’ll be adding.
Toast the pistachios
and add them to the oats
Chop the walnuts
add to oats
Chop the almonds
toast ’em up
and add them to the oats (you’ve detected the pattern by now, right?)
Now, you have all of your toasted ingredients together on the cookie sheets. Stir them all together. DO NOT add the cranberries yet, they go in AFTER you bake the granola.
Add a nice healthy pinch of Kosher salt to each tray
and gather your other flovorings. This is what I like to use:
Shake on the cinnamon
I don’t measure, but after I’m done a-shaking, it looks something like this:
Add in a few drops of vanilla extract
I happen to also have the Orange extract on hand, so I add some of this in. I wouldn’t necessarily buy this extract just for granola – I add it into pancake batter, too! YUM.
And pour in some maple syrup. I usually don’t measure this, either – but for the sake of today’s blog, I used about 1/4 cup, divided between the two cookie sheets. Again, to taste.
(I used to do all of the mixing in a big bowl, which is easier – and THEN added the mixture to the cookie sheets. But I found that this left process behind a good bit of the “sauce” in the bowl instead of keeping it all in the granola. If you mix it all together on the cookie sheets, you have no waste.)
Now, stir to coat the granola. Be sure to get into the corners!
Place your two cookie sheets in your preheated oven. I don’t use the very bottom setting – once I burned the granola a bit more than my liking. : (
I bake for 10 minutes, then I rotate the sheets – top to bottom and front to back – stirring well each time. This way, every morsel bakes and hopefully nothing burns.
This batch baked for about 40 minutes. I stirred and rotated 3 times.
Then, pull the sheets out of the oven.
Add in the dried cranberries while the granola is still hot.
Stir it all about
When your granola has cooled, package it up.
And it’s good to go!
Hubby likes to add some granola to his “cereal du jour” – I like mine with a dollop or two of non-fat Greek-style yogurt.
It’s healthy, with no preservatives and no artificial ingredients – yet it tastes crunchy and nutty and cinnamony and delicious.
Let me know if you try it and if you like it.
I’d also love to hear how you personalize your granola to your own liking.
I mean, loving.