I finally made that granola and it was really worth it, I can see I will be making this regularly and I’ve just started to think of other uses for it and how it will enhance other recipes. I based my recipe on an Alton Brown (Food Network) recipe that got high marks. I changed it up a bit because I wanted to incorporate this wonderful raw blueberry blossom honey I scored at the farmer’s market.
I made a large batch of it starting with 2 lbs. of rolled outs. I baked it and then separated it into two batches. The first batch I added dried fruit (peaches, apples, pears and strawberries) that I had dried in my dehydrator and scooped it into a large glass jar for use as cereal, mixed into yogurt and just munching.
The second batch I used to make granola bars and squares. I halved this batch and added white chocolate chunks and cranberries, some more honey, syrup and vanilla extract. I baked this in a pan and cut into bars. To the other half, I added dark chocolate chunks and raisins and baked and cut into squares.
I wasted nothing! I even kept the “crumbs” that happened from cutting the bars and jarred those up as well – they are going to be so yummy on ice cream and as toppings for baked fruit and crumbles… if I can stop munching on them J
Get creative with this recipe, it’s a starting point and very versatile. Play around with flavors and spices; add some cinnamon or nutmeg, dates, dried pineapple with ginger. The flavors and possibilities are endless.
Another plus, if you are a crazy jar collector, as I am, think of all the fun jars you can package your granola in! Another great home-made gift idea.
2 lbs. (32 oz.) rolled oats
3 cups of nuts (can be 2 cups of same or 1 cup of 2 different types of nuts)
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups of shredded coconut
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (real) maple syrup
½ cup organic honey (I used a blueberry honey)
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups raisins or cranberries or a combination
2 cups assorted dried fruit (I dried my own and used apples, pears, peaches and strawberries)
- Preheat the oven to 250 F. Get out a couple of large baking sheet pans, the type with shallow sides, and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl combine, oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar and salt. Stir and toss and be sure to break up the brown sugar.
- In another bowl, combine the maple sugar, honey and canola oil. Add the liquid ingredients to the oat mixture and stir well.
- Spread mixture, in a single layer onto the prepared pans. Bake for an hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. If you are using a dark coated pan, bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to large bowl and add raisins and dried fruit. Mix thoroughly and spoon into a sealed canister.
For Granola Bars follow above recipe up to step 4 then…
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Add a combination of the following ingredients: Raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, vanilla chips, or chopped dates.
- Add ¼ cup of honey, ¼ cup of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
- Stir well and transfer to a couple 13 x 9 pans, sprayed with cooking spray or greased well.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, more for firmer bars, less for chewyer.
- Let cool and cut into squares or bars.
- Wrap bars individually in waxed paper and store in airtight container, or seal in plastic bags.
(NOTE: don’t waste the crumbs that will collect while you are cutting into bars. I put them in small jars to be used in yogurt, top ice cream, or to top baked fruit!)