I've been making granola for a couple of years now and my recipe has changed over time. I was initially inspired to make it by some granola my mom made and the fact that most commercially sold granola and most recipes I found online used a significant amount of oil and sugar. My husband and I sort of became addicted and I make it about every other week (did you know that you can buy 9 pound boxes of Quaker oats at Costco?). It's much cheaper and healthier to make your own and so, so easy. In fact, the more you make it and keep the ingredients on hand, the easier it gets.
Recently, I stopped using honey in an effort to make the texture more like the granola I tasted at the South Pasadena Farmer's Market . . . the guy who sells it is probably sick of me tasting it and asking him questions on his granola technique. I'll first give you an older version which is more general with some tips and then the specific, newer version which I'm hoping to enter into a recipe contest soon! Use the older version as a guideline for the ratio of wet ingredients and spices to dry ingredients. Change it to suit your tastes and preferences.
Rebecca's Basic Granola
In a large bowl or container, stir together:
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sliced almonds
4 cups oats
1/2 cup coconut
optional: 1/2 cup bran (I use All-Bran Bran Buds) and 2-3 tablespoons of flax seeds
In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, stir together:
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1 T. vanilla
1 T. cinnamon
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until coated. If the dry ingredients don’t seem moist enough, you can add a little more applesauce, honey, or a couple of tablespoons of orange juice.
Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees. I set the timer for every 10-12 minutes and stir it (the edges will brown much faster than the middle). It’s done when it’s all golden brown and toasted. Let it cool on the cookie sheet and transfer to an airtight container. It’ll last 2-3 weeks at room temperature.
- You can substitute any combination of nuts for the pecans and almonds. Raw nuts work better than toasted nuts
- You can substitute other fruit purees for the applesauce (Trader Joe’s sells mango sauce, I’ve used canned pumpkin and orange juice before). You can also add other spices (nutmeg, cloves, etc.)
- If you like dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, etc.) in your granola, add it AFTER baking.
Orange Clove Granola
1/4 c. agave sweetener
1/4 c. frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 tsp. orange extract
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. pine nuts
1/2 c. shredded coconut
1/4 c. sliced almonds
3 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
Combine the agave sweetener and next four ingredients (through cinnamon) in a small bowl or measuring cup.
Stir the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl or container.
Spread evenly on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until the granola is golden brown and toasty. Let it cool on the cookie sheet and transfer to an airtight container.