Monday was granola day. This is a ritual that our household enjoys that seems to make everything run just a little better. It could be a Saturday just as easily, it is the day when two to four baking sheets of granola are cooked until golden brown. We all love to break off a big hunk of just cooled stuff and munch it down. This is righteous snacking. Homemade granola is light years from the highly processed stuff outa the box and so easy. I’m not sure why it took us so long to start making our own . . . now I remember.
A few years ago, I witnessed my teenaged son consume a box of granola in two sittings. I was happy that he enjoyed this wholesome cereal but I was also alarmed at the cost of such a simple food not to mention the processing and packaging. I read the ingredients: oats, honey, vegetable oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, sea salt. No mystery there. I remember my sister-in-law, Mim baking granola in their old kitchen in Victoria.
Hmm, if she can make granola then so can we. Before big food processors, people just made granola with stuff they had around. I experimented a bit and crafted a recipe that is tasty, easy to make and flexible as far as ingredients. You don’t have to be a hippie to make this crunchy granola.
Lisa’s Crunchy Granola
1/2 C honey
1/3 C vegetable oil – we like coconut or sustainably grown red palm oil
2 Tbs sugar
Pinch sea salt
4-5 C old-fashioned rolled oats
1 C almonds, rough chopped
1/4 C pumpkin seeds
1/4 C sunflower seeds
2 Tbs sesame seeds
2 Tbs flax seeds
2 Tbs chia seeds
1 C dried fruit: raisins, craisins, goji, golden berries, apricots, cherries (optional)
1 C unsweetened ground coconut (optional)
*If you don’t use all of the seeds or nuts, just add a few more oats.
Preheat oven to 350°
then turn down to 300° when baking
In small sauce pan warm honey (and oil if it is solid) and dissolve sugar and salt. Mixture should be warm and runny so that it incorporates with the oats easily.
Put oats in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a large bowl and mix by hand. Mix on low adding honey/oil all at once, mix until incorporated then add nuts, seeds and coconut if using. Mix until well incorporated. Spread in an even layer on two rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Turn oven down to 300° and bake for 13 minutes. Turn pans and switch shelves and bake another 13 minutes. Put baking sheets on cooling racks and sprinkle with dried fruit. Carefully press dried fruit into hot granola. Let granola cool completely before putting in glass jars. Enjoy!