Granola Granola

 Feature photo granola

Feature photo granola

Mimi’s been awaiting patiently for this recipe... Haven’t ya Mim! It’s tasty and made with good ingredients and might even be healthy – but honestly I’m not sure about that. It IS vegan so Jim will be happy as well...

I’ve been making this granola since my college days – tweaked here and there as the years go by with whatever the ‘ingredient of the day is.’ Way back when we didn’t have dried cranberries. We didn’t have chia seeds. I’m quite sure we didn’t put pumpkin seeds in – maybe sunflower…. Can’t really remember. I’ve made it with coconut added and banana chips (horrors!). I’ve made it with wheat germ added and without. I’ve added dried apricot and dried cherries. It’s great with so many different things. I’ve made it with orange juice and orange zest added. I’ve added vanilla from time to time and experimented with different kinds of honey. It’s a super flexible recipe. You can tweak it in a million different ways and have it come out tasting delicious. Experiment. Go wild. And let me know what works for you (Hey! Maybe I’ll get a comment or two out of this one…. Ya never know….).

 Nuts and fruit

Nuts and fruit

This Granola never lasts long in my house and so I make it in really big batches. I put half of it in a glass, air-tight container with a scoop and leave it on the counter and I store the rest in a big Ziploc baggie in the pantry and I use this to refill the counter container. When the Ziploc gets low I get back to my cookin’. Honestly, I like it best plain and in small amounts with a little almond milk or with some home made yogurt (that was show-offish wasn’t it…. or use store bought – whatever. There are some good store boughts….).

 Bowl of granola

Bowl of granola

And here it is . . ..

Granola Granola

Preheat the oven to 300° Feel free to cut this recipe in half if you don’t want to make a ton of it or if you don’t have a whole bunch of guys in your house all the time looking for snacks….

Ingredients:

12 cups of organic oats (NOT quick cooking)

2 cups chopped raw almonds

1 cup chopped raw walnuts

1 cup chopped raw pecans

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup sunflower seeds

½ cup chia seeds (chia seeds are supposed to be really great for you but it’s ok to leave this ingredient out – lots of guys don’t like chia seeds because they get stuck in the space between their teeth).

½ cup golden flax seeds

1 cup golden raisins

¾ cup currants

¾ cup dried cranberries

½ cup dried blueberries. Also you can add any other kind of dried fruit that you like such as cherries, apricots cut into little bits, apple, coconut, papaya, mango, etc.

1 cup organic canola oil

1 cup organic honey zest from 1 orange and juice from that orange (optional)

Directions: Mix the oats, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds together in a big bowl. Probably mix with your hands.

Cook in a small pot the canola and honey until boiling – watch it very carefully because once it hits boil it’s all over the stove. This is when you would add in the orange zest and juice and/or vanilla if you’re using these ingredients. When the honey/oil mixture boils, let it bubble around a bit and then take it off the flame and whisk it around for a bit so the honey and oil blend together.

Pour the honey/oil mixture over the oat mixture and stir to coat the oat mixture with the honey/oil mixture. Throw in the chia seeds and flax seeds at this point so that they stick to the oats with the help of the honey/oil mixture. If you dump them into the mix before you add the honey/oil mixture these tiny seeds will just fall to the bottom of the bowl.

Once the oat mixture is all coated with the honey/oil mixture, spread it out on two cookie sheets with sides. I put parchment on the bottom of the pans but you don’t really have to do that. It’s a pretty easy clean even without the parchment. BEWARE!!! If you use side-less cookie sheets you will regret it.

Place the cookie sheets in the preheated oven and set the timer for 25 minutes. In 25-minutes come back and stir the oat mixture. Put it back in the oven for another 5 or 10 minutes and come back and stir again and then do it again. Once the oat mixture is a golden brown take it out of the oven and leave it on the trays until cool. Once the oat mixture is cooled, add in the dried fruit.

Eat and store the rest. Or, you can put it in some pretty jars and give for gifts. It’s really pretty stuff and everyone loves it.

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