how to make granola
Homemade granola is probably my favorite DIY dish. I am such a sucker for a bowl of crunchy oats with cool yogurt and fresh fruit but I’m not crazy about the packaged kind. It’s either too sweet, too expensive, too clunky or it doesn’t have enough of the ingredients I like, leaving me rummaging for my favorite pieces. The best part about making your own granola is that you get to customize it down to the tiniest detail – the fruit, seeds, nuts and even the sweetener. This granola won’t be the super sweet clustered stuff you find at the store. It’s a softer loose version that you can enjoy as cereal without giving your jaw a workout. And finally, this recipe makes way more than the packages you buy at the store so you won’t feel guilty about eating a bowl of it for breakfast.
Like I mentioned, customizing your granola is the best part. You can follow my recipe and substitute ingredients. I love pecans, but walnuts, pistachios and hazelnuts are all great options. I am very particular about the dried fruit I use because I want to love every single bite, so use what you love most. Try apricots, apples or pineapple. Choose an oil with an interesting flavor. I used coconut oil in this recipe but olive oil adds a beautiful grassy savor. You can even tweak the flavor by sprinkling on some cinnamon or adding citrus zest. Most importantly, don’t forget the salt. This makes all the sweet flavors pop without having to add too much sugar.
4-5 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups raw seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame
1-1/2 cup nuts, like pecan pieces
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, optional
1/4 cup oil, like extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups mixed dried fruit, like cherries, figs and peaches
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line baking sheet (two if you have them) with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine oats, seeds, nuts, coconut flakes, oil, apple sauce, sweetener and salt. Mix until oats are completely coated. Spread onto baking sheet(s), if you only have one, bake in two batches. Bake for 15 minutes. In the meantime, chop dried fruit into bite size pieces. Remove baking sheet from oven. Add dried fruit and stir. Continue baking until golden, about 15-20 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool. Note that the granola will still be soft when it comes out of the oven, once it cools, it will harden, so don’t over bake it. Serve over plain yogurt with fresh strawberries or store in airtight container.