A delicious and nutritious meal the whole family will love!
I will be the first to admit that I have bought more than my share of artisanal granola over the years. I love it and can’t resist trying out new flavour combinations or different makers. While there is sometimes something really special or unique about these small-batch, commercially-prepared granolas, I have to say that I still keep coming back to my tried-and-true, make-at-home recipe which has been floating around in my family for decades. I’d never thought about writing it down but one week into the pandemic, my husband asked for the recipe. Did he worry about starving if I wasn’t available to make his fave breakfast? Clearly, I needed to allay his fears and show him how easy granola is to make. So I did. Talking to my mom, sisters and nieces, it seems each of us seems to tweak it a little to suit our tastes and that is the true beauty of granola. As long as you respect the oil-sweetener-oats ratio (as indicated below), the sky really is the limit in terms of what you want to add in. Chopped cashews and peanuts are terrific, for example. Carob chips could also be added to the cooled, cooked granola for a fun little flavour party. It’s the perfect recipe to use up little bits of things in your pantry to make a big batch of delicious, wholesome granola that lasts for weeks (if your family doesn’t devour it all sooner). It also makes a fantastic hostess or holiday gift.
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) maple syrup, honey or agave syrup *
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) raw sunflower seeds or sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) raw slivered almonds or chopped pecans or chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) (optional but delicious)
- 4 cups (1 L) quick or large-flake oats (not instant/minute oats)
- 1 cup (250 mL) shredded coconut (optional but delicious)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped dried cranberries or currants or raisins or other chopped dried fruit such as cherries, apricots, blueberries, etc. (optional)
* If none of these are available, mix 1/4 cup (60 mL) brown sugar with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of water as a substitute
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 12 inch (22.5 x 30 cm) baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a very large microwave-safe bowl, heat the oil and honey or agave on medium power just until the mixture has become more liquid (about 30 seconds).
- Previous step is not necessary if using maple syrup; just stir it and oil together in a very large bowl.
- Add vanilla, cinnamon, nuts/seeds and stir well. Add oats and stir again till oats have become uniformly dampened by the oil and syrup mixture.
- Stir in coconut.
- Transfer oat mixture to the prepared baking pan.
- Total baking time will be 20 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, stir the mixture thoroughly so portions that are browning at edge of pan get transferred to the middle.
- Continue to bake, stirring again every 5 minutes.
- Let cool in pan for about 1/2 hour before adding cranberries, currants or raisins, if using.
- Store in airtight container for up to a month or freeze for longer storage.
Makes approximately 7 cups (1.75 L)