On my quest to eat well and spend less, I’ve been making mounds of homemade granola. I use an old Bon Appetit recipe I’ve had for years, with a few of my own modifications. I’m still playing with it, trying different fruits and flavorings. Stay tuned for my cocao nib version!
4 cups oats (I use oats from Bob’s Red Mill
)-be sure to avoid the quick cooking variety
1 cup toasted nuts (I like slivered almonds, coarsely chopped pecans, or skinned hazelnuts)
3/4 cup dried fruit, in bite sized pieces (I’ve been using cranberries but also love cherries and apricots-be sure to use unsulfured apricots-the bright orange ones are too soft and will burn in the oven)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of ground cinnamon
1/3 cup neutral flavored oil (canola, safflower, vegetable, grapeseed, etc.)
1/4 cup good honey
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, toss together the oats, nuts, fruit, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon, being sure to break up any chunks of brown sugar. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, honey, and sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and pour it over the oat mixture. Toss the mixture until all the dry ingredients are coated with the honey mixture.
Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet. It will look like this:
Bake the granola until very golden and fragrant, 30-40 minutes, stirring it well every 10 minutes or so. When it is done, it will look like this:
(notice the change in color?)
Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and cool the granola completely. When cool, store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. I store mine in glass or tin, as opposed to plastic, as I think it keeps it a lot more crisp.
The granola is great with milk and fresh fruit, served straight up as a snack, or sprinkled over yogurt with berries for a parfait. Enjoy!