Years ago my sister-in-law made a batch of homemade granola. It was nothing like the bland, store-bought kind or even the high-end kind you find at fancy bakeries. The granola my sister-in-law made had the perfect flavor and the perfect crunch. I couldn’t get enough. Honestly, it was so delicious I found myself eating it far beyond the breakfast hour. (Not a good thing!) I asked, or rather, begged, for the recipe, which she kindly shared and now I want to share it with you. Beware, this stuff is addicting.
4 Cups quick oats
3.5 oz shredded coconut
1/2 C slivered raw almonds
1/2 C chopped raw pecans
½ - ¾ C dark brown sugar
3-4 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 C grape seed or vegetable oil
1/3 C honey
Optional ingredients before baking:
1/4 - 1/2 C wheat germ
1/4 C flaxseed
(If you add one or both of these ingredients you’ll want to increase the amount of honey and/or oil)
Optional ingredients after baking:
1/2 - 1 C raisins or dried cranberries
1/4 - 1/2 C butterscotch or chocolate chips
Depending on how I want the homemade granola to taste I vary the amount of sugar and coconut, plus, using more honey adds more crunch. Get creative by adding your own ingredients!
Preheat oven - 300 degrees Fahrenheit
Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl; add vanilla, followed by oil, and then honey. Mix until well-blended. Spread on shallow baking sheet that has sides. Bake for 15 minutes, carefully stir granola around pan and continue baking for 15 additional minutes. Some ovens run hotter than others. Check granola as it’s baking to make sure it doesn’t burn.
As soon as granola comes out of oven, pour into large bowl and stir in as many raisins and/or chocolate chips as desired. Keep in airtight container. (Please note: If granola stays on baking sheet, even for a minute or two, it sticks to the pan making it very difficult to remove!)
If you can bring yourself to give any of the generous batch this recipe makes, away, it will make a great gift. I put it in glass bottles, making it a little prettier than in a Ziploc bag. Yet the Ziploc bag works well when I sneak it into my kids’ luggage as they head off to camp. Wrapping the bag in a bandana adds an element of surprise when they unpack and discover a taste of home.