I’ve always loved granola.  Once I got past the Lucky Charms stage of life, it was my favorite cereal.  What I didn’t know then was how wonderful a bowl of homemade granola tastes.  Making it for yourself allows you to add in exactly what you like (for those of you who hate rasins, but love dried apricot), and I was surprised how little it tastes like the bland stuff from the box.  This is definitely worth every penny and minute spent.  If you’re making this for the first time, you may want to cut the batch in half.  It makes about 2 large ziplocks worth.

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8 Cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal

2 to 3 C. sliced almonds

1 C. Coconut

1 C. Cashews (I know they are not as good for you, but they’re soooo good…so just a little bit is ok)

2 C. Flax Seed (giving a wonderful nutty flavor and helping out your digestive track!)

1 C. Olive Oil

1 C. Honey

As much mix in dried fruit as you like (I eyeball it, but I think I usually use about 2 to 3 cups total)

Preheat the oven to 315F.  In a very large bowl, mix the oatmeal, almonds, coconut, cashews, and flax.  In a separate bowl, whisk oil and honey together until well combined.  Drizzle over the dry ingredients and mix well (I usually use clean hands.  The added bonus is when you’re done and go to rinse them off, scrub your hands with the excess and they’ll be smooth as a baby’s bottom).  Divide mixture between two parchment or tin foil lined 9×13 pans.  Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 or so.  The granola should be golden brown and still just a bit moist.  Pull the liners out (with the granola) and leave on a cool counter until COMPLETELY COOLED.  I’ve found that by letting it cool all the way down before placing in your storage container you maintain the most “clusters.”  Once cool, pour your mixed fruit of choice over and place in an airtight container.  If you’re not going to eat it all for a while, you can place some in a ziplock and freeze it for a few weeks.

Tips:

  • Nuts are cheap at Costco, Trader Joes, and local supermarkets that have bulk bins.
  • Experiment.  I really like to change my mix-ins.  My favorite staple is a combo of golden raisins and currents.  In these pictures, you’ll see my fall version of cranberries and currents (I also substituted 1/4 C. of the honey with maple syrup).
  • Make sure NOT to add in the fruit until after baking (don’t ask).
  • If you like, feel free to add a pinch of kosher salt to the batch once cooked, but still warm (so it sticks).
  • As with anything, the more you make it, the better your final product.
  • Uses for granola (just a few): As cereal, sprinkled over good yogurt, as dessert over vanilla bean icecream, as trailmix, and as your daily source of fiber to well…you know.
  • Please share a portion of your batch with a friend.  There are far too few people who know what true granola tastes like.
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