Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats (not instant oats) [be sure to use pure oats if you have gluten issues]
  • 3 TB light brown sugar or dark (packed 3 TB)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon [1-2 tsp if you really want the cinnamon flavor to dominate the granola]
  • 1/4 tsp salt [ground Himalayan Pink]
  • 2 TB ground flaxseed meal
  • 3 TB wheat germ [do not add if gluten-free, replace with rice, buckwheat, or oat bran]
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil [or 50:50 with melted coconut butter]
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 cup small-dice dried fruit [raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries etc.] (whole or halved)
  • 1/2-1 cup raw or toasted nuts and/or seeds [almonds (slivered), pumpkin seeds (whole), sunflower seeds (whole), peanuts (diced or whole) etc.]

Note: This is one of those dishes that buying in bulk really helps. Many of the ingredients last for months and longer when stored in air tight containers. Enjoy this delicious snack.

Instructions:

  • Have the oven preheated to 300°F with the rack in the middle. This ensures the best flow of heat for evenly cooked granola.
  • Place the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, flaxseed and salt in a large bowl and mix together thoroughly.
  • Place the honey and oil in a small pot and gently heat (low/low-medium) until the honey is completely dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and add  the vanilla, stir to mix.  
  • Pour over the oat mixture and mix until the oats are evenly coated.

Note: You can add the oil, honey, and vanilla all at once without the heat and mix; but the method mentioned above provides a better distribution of the ingredients.

  • Using a large, rimmed baking sheet place a layer of parchment paper down the length of the sheet. Spread the mixture into a thin and even layer.

Note: Save the bowl you use to mix the oats as it will be used later, i.e. do not clean it.

  • Bake for 15 minutes at 300°F.
  • Stir after the 15 minutes and continue baking until the granola is very light golden brown, for an additional 7 to 15 minutes depending on how dark/crunchy you want the granola.
  • While the oats are cooking, using the same bowl you prepared the oats in, place whatever nuts, seeds, and/or dried fruit you will be using and mix together. This will ensure loss of any residual seasoning in the bowl will be decreased as it will cling to the dried fruit, seeds, and/or nuts.  
  • Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the granola at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  • Add the fruit and nuts or seeds to the baking sheet and toss to combine.
  • Store the granola in an airtight container, will last for up to 2 weeks. It will last even longer if you don’t have any dried fruit, as some of their moisture will be absorbed by the oats, which results in a less crunchy texture.

Note: This is a hearty, healthy, and nutritional alternative to store-bought granola. Overall it’s far cheaper than buying granola bars or mix, not to mention it goes great when paired with chia seed pudding, steel cut oats, or as a topping for waffles.

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