There’s nothing to compare to homemade granola. On a recent trip, we were treated to such in Leavenworth, which inspired me to take a swing at it when we got home. Here’s what I came up with.
The backbone of most granola is oats, which, let’s face it, aren’t super exciting. As such, it pays to make sure you use fresh stuff. Everything in this mix will impact the intensity and range of flavor for the finished product – tweaking a thing or two can yield quite different results – change honey to maple syrup, pecans to walnuts, almonds to pepitas, cinnamon to allspice, lemon rind to dried cranberries or raisins, and so on – it’s your canvas, so paint a starry night, man…
In parentheses below, I show what I used – you tweak from there.
Urban’s Best Granola
4 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 ½ Cups Raw Nuts &/or Seeds (pecans and almonds)
¾ Cup Dried Fruit (dried orange and lemon peel)
½ Cup Canola or Avocado Oil
½ Cup Raw Honey (or maple syrup, or agave nectar – you could use as little as 1/4 cup – the granola will turn out fine)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Sea Salt (Fine Grain)
½ teaspoon ground Cinnamon
Set an oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 350° F.
Line a heavy, rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
if you wish, now is the time to heat a skillet over medium and toast the nuts – not critical, but if you like the flavor note, go for it.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts and/or seeds, salt and cinnamon – stir with a mixing spoon to fully incorporate.
In a smaller mixing bowl, combine oil, honey, and vanilla. Whisk briskly with a fork to thoroughly incorporate, then pour over the dry mix.
Use your mixing spoon to thoroughly coat the dry mix with the wet blend – take your time and make sure it’s a thorough job, about 2-3 minutes.
Pour granola unto the lined baking sheet and spread evenly.
Bake for 15 minutes, then stir granola and spread back out evenly. If you prefer your granola chunky, don’t stir, just use the back of the spoon to press it down tighter.
Bake for another 10-20 minutes, depending on how dark you like your granola – it should, at the least, be golden brown and fragrant, (your kitchen is gonna smell A-Mazing!)
Pull granola from oven and set the pan on the stove top to cool, undisturbed, for 45-60 minutes, and leave it undisturbed.
Pour the cooled granola back into a large mixing bowl, add the dried fruit, (and/or anything else you dig to make it yours – chocolate chips, shredded coconut, etc), stir with a big spoon to thoroughly incorporate.
Store in airtight glass, (preferably), or a zip lock bag. Best practice is to freeze it – it’ll stay much fresher, and you need only pull some out and let it rest at room temp for 5-10 minutes before chowing down.
You can munch on it plain, turn it into trail mix, enjoy it with milk, or for the Full Monty, add Greek yogurt and a dollop of fruit curd or preserves – that’s heaven in a bowl!
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Fat: 13.9 g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Trans Fat: 0g