Tai had this for breakfast this morning and hasn’t stopped talking about how wonderful it was. I don’t even like granola, and I never eat cereal, but on tasting this, I was tempted to have a bowl; it is that good. And really simple to make – I don’t know why I didn’t do this ages ago. I’m always trying to get Tai to cut down on the boxed cereal he loves, because it contains so much sugar (not to mention the fact that it is about $6/box, and he goes through a box in two days). This granola recipe can keep Tai in cereal heaven for about a week, while cutting out the sugar and lowering the cost. Score!
Tai’s one request was that I try to make “clusters” as these are his favorite type of cereals (Easier to eat? Don’t get soggy? Don’t ask me, I’m not a cereal girl). So, stay tuned as I experiment with cluster-formation. I’ll post an update if it works!
- 3 and 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup 10-grain mix (Wild Hive), wheat germ or bulghur wheat
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp flax seeds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or melted, clarified butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used home-dried apples, dried cranberries and raisins here)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil or baking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients except the fruit; mix well to evenly distribute spices & salt. Add the oil or melted butter, honey, maple syrup and vanilla; stir well, until the liquid is evenly dispersed throughout the oat mixture. Spread the mixture in an even layer onto the baking sheet.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes, stirring two or three times while baking (I stir every 8 minutes). Flip the pan back-to-front halfway through the baking. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, in the pan, on a wire rack. Evenly scatter the dried fruit over the top of the granola; transfer to an airtight storage container. Try not to eat the entire thing in one sitting.
Yields about 7 cups granola.
- This recipe is very flexible; rolled oats and some sort of sweetener are pretty vital, but other than that, anything goes This is a great way to use up little odds & ends of nuts, seeds or dried fruit that are in the pantry. You can up the health factor by adding in flax seeds, wheat germ, goji berries, etc.
- It would be a challenge to make this completely local, as I do think that the cinnamon and vanilla are key ingredients, and while shelled pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds do grow locally, it is tough to find them, unless you want to do the shelling job yourself. Black walnuts can be foraged in the Northeast (although I have never been able to find any) and of course there are plenty of opportunities to source local fruit and dry it in season. You could eliminate the coconut, cinnamon and vanilla and try a version with dried, ground spicebush berries and wild ginger.
Granola will last for at least a few weeks, or even months, until the nuts start to turn rancid. Humid weather may cause the granola to lose crispness, so in summer freezer storage is recommended.