We enjoy cereal here in the home office. Pour it in a bowl, pour in some milk (or if you’re Humphry Slocombe, pour in bourbon), and there you have it – a meal. Go crazy and add some fresh fruit and, voila, 3 food groups in a bowl with hardly any preparation.
Store bought granola doesn’t expire for about 6 months, by which time the nuts have gone stale, the oats don’t crunch right, and the fruit has gone hard. Homemade granola is worth the effort. It’s not a big effort. It’s one of the easiest things to make. This recipe makes quite a bit, but it gets consumed quickly if you’re like us and enjoy cereal. I do not think I have had a batch last longer than 3 weeks here, max. Make this and you won’t go back to buying it.
- 6 Cups Rolled Oats (not the instant kind)
- 1/2 C Flax Seed meal (or get whole flax seeds and cut them up in a clean coffee grinder or food processor)
- 1/2 C Unsalted Unroasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 C Sunflower Seeds
- 1-1/2 C Slivered Almonds
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- Chop roughly together (I chop mine in a Cuisinart )
- 1 C Whole Raw Almonds,
- 1-1/2 C Whole Pitted Dates
- 3/4 C Olive Oil (If you like the taste of Olive Oil, use Extra Virgin, if not, you can substitute any less flavored vegetable oil)
- 3/4 C Maple Syrup
What to do:
Mix all this together in a big bowl. Divide the mixture between two large jelly roll pans lined with parchment or Silpat sheets. Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 30 minutes taking the pans out to turn the mixture every 10 minutes to brown evenly. Cool before storing.
If you don’t like something on this list other than oats (don’t bother making this if you don’t like oats), or you don’t have it, you can substitute other things, keeping in mind, that you want to come up with about 5-6 cups of dryish stuff to the proportion of the oats, oil and maple syrup. So for instance, you could substitute, walnuts or pecans or other nuts for the almonds or seeds. Wheat germ could be sub’ed in for the flax seed. Chopped apricots or raisins or other chopped dried fruit could be substituted for the dates. If you leave out fruit entirely, keep in mind that your granola might be less sweet. That might be fine if you like that, or if you add fresh fruit to your granola to sweeten things up when eating.
The important thing to keep in mind while substituting is that some things stand up to baking longer than other things. Things like raisins, dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots, for instance, should be added later in the baking/browning period than dates or they’ll get hard and weird. And hard and weird is disconcerting in an otherwise great granola.