A few days ago, my post on granola was published on the new Stonyfield yogurt blog. For that post, I had to test and rate 5 store-bought granola mixes easily found in supermarkets. As you can see in the article, some of them were good, some I liked a little less but all of them are cause for concern for me because you see, I am a granola addict. If there’s some in the house, I will eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I love it so much I could sit down and eat a whole box at once! So I don’t normally buy granola because of the obvious compulsive reasons stated above. However, ever since that article, I have started making my own, which I had never done before (I wonder why?). I have made 5 batches in as many weeks and each one has been different but oh so delicious! And for some reason, the compulsion has calmed down and I am now managing to save some for my morning yogurt parfait!
The recipe is extremely easy and quick, especially since I have most of the ingredients on hand at any given time. My favorite nuts to add are hazelnuts and/or pistachios and my favorite dried fruits are cranberry and apricots. The nice thing about it is that you can personalize it the way you want by adding whatever fruits and nuts you like. I must add here that my friends are loving this granola kick I’m on because they are reaping the benefits of it all in the form of lovely jars filled with crunchy golden nuggets. Here’s the basic recipe, let me know if you give it a try and how you’ve personalized it.
Crunchy, nutty granola
- 3 cups of large-flake rolled oats
- 2 cups of your choice of dried fruits, chopped (apricots, raisins, cranberries, apples, pineapple, papaya, dates, unsweetened coconut flakes, etc.)
- 2 cups of your choice of raw seeds and nuts, coarsely chopped (hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
- 3/4 cup of maple syrup (or honey) (you can add more if you like your granola sweeter)
- ¼ cup of ground flax seeds for added Omega-3 goodness (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional, you can add another spice of your choice)
- A pinch of salt (to balance the sweetness)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
- In a big bowl, mix the oats, nuts, maple syrup and salt together and spread on one or two parchment-paper lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the granola is golden brown (stir 2 or 3 times while baking so it browns evenly)
- Add the dried fruit to it and stir well, breaking up any large chunks
- Let it cool completely before storing in an air tight container