I’m three years deep into blogging and only have two granola recipes to show for it. I could say it’s because granola is so, well, granola. I might push local/organic foods on occasion, but I probably don’t qualify as granola. Or do I?
Let’s examine the facts: for one, my car is not a hybrid. I’ve been walking the dog in Chaco’s lately (I have the tan lines to prove it), but I wear knee-high leather boots all winter long. I don’t eat meat… unless there’s bacon on the table. And I think natural deodorant is worthless.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being granola. Or eating granola. Granola is good. It makes plain yogurt so much more interesting, especially when topped off with fresh fruit. I actually resisted making my own granola for a long time because I am powerless in the face of ready-made snacks, like chips and granola. They call my name from the cabinet and insist that I eat a handful every time I see the bag. That is why there are only two granola recipes on this blog. I’ve found that if I make my own granola, though, I want to make it last for a while. I also keep the bag in the freezer, which seems to dampen the granola’s power over me.
This granola recipe is a simple one: honey-sweetened oats with a hint of spice and warm coconut flavor. I adapted it from my gingerbread granola. It’s a good base recipe to play around with—I’ve added substitution suggestions in the recipe below. The granola browns more quickly when I make it with honey rather than maple syrup, which is typical of honey-sweetened baked treats, so keep an eye on it during the last few minutes of baking.
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats for gluten-free granola)
- 1½ cups raw slivered almonds (or other nuts*)
- 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (if you're using standard table salt, scale back to ¾ teaspoon)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup melted coconut oil (or olive oil)
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup chopped dried apricots (preferably the Blenheim variety)
- ¼ cup chopped dried cherries (or cranberries, raisins or currants)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger. Stir thoroughly to combine.
- Stir in the oil, honey and vanilla. Turn the granola out onto your prepared pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway. The granola should be turning lightly golden (keep an eye on it as honey tends to brown). The granola will crisp up as it cools.
- Let the granola cool before stirring in the chopped fruit. Store the granola in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks, or keep it in the freezer for longer shelf life.
Yields 5 to 6 cups of granola.
*Preparation tips: If you are using large, whole nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.) follow instructions as directed. If you are using small nuts or seeds (sunflower seeds, pepitas, etc.), wait to stir them into the granola until you remove it from the oven halfway through cooking.
Make it vegan: Instead of honey, use maple syrup as your sweetener.