Friday, May 11, 2012

Sister Granola

I love granola on my cereal.  Or on my yogurt.  And sometimes on ice cream.  Store bought granola tends to be pretty expensive and often too sweet for my tastes.  So I use a recipe that my sister found many years ago and then adapted to how she likes it, and then I adapt it to how I like it (or what I happen to have in my kitchen at the time).  Since my sister and I call each other "sister", I decided this granola should be named Sister Granola.  And now you can adapt it to how YOU like it, too!  It's versatile like that!  This recipe is super easy and makes a ton of granola!  Yahoo!

In a small saucepan, heat oil, butter, and honey in a saucepan.

Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.  Heat it enough so the sugar dissolves, then set it all aside for later.

Mix together oats, coconut, almonds, wheat germ, and sesame seeds.  For this recipe, I did not have any sesame seeds, and I used almonds and pecans.  It's just what I had on hand!  Plus I added some ground flax seed in this step.

Grab your small saucepan of the butter/sugar mixture, and pour it over the oat mixture.  Toss well.  Spread it out on a half sheet/jelly roll pan.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When those 20 minutes are over, stir in your dried fruit.  I used dried cherries, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds.  I have used regular raisins, golden raisins, dried apricots, dates, figs, cherries, you name it!  Throw in whatever your favorite dried fruit might be!

This is Charlie, my cooking companion.  Wherever I am, he is.  Often sitting or lying directly on my foot, but always touching me in some way.  Lucy is more nonchalant.  She is generally in the room as well, but she keeps her space.  It can be nerve-wracking having him lying on my feet while I am cooking something hot on the stove.  Alas, he is so devoted. 

Bake until granola is golden brown, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes or so.  Cool.

Eat by the handful or on whatever your favorite granola platform might be.  I have never figured out what the nutritional information might be for this granola, but I am fairly sure it is healthier than most of the granolas you can get in the store.  And I can assure you it will be substantially less expensive and (most importantly) TASTIER!  This granola gets clumps of crunchy bits (which I like).  If you don't like that, make sure you stir often while baking and also while cooling. 

Sister Granola
5 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
3 cups coconut (I try to find unsweetened, but sweetened is fine too)
1 1/2 cups whole almonds (or any other nuts!)
3/4 cup sliced almonds (or again any other nut!!)
1 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 TB vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup dried cherries (or any other dried fruit)

Preheat oven to 300F. Heat oil, butter, and honey in a small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Heat until sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside.

Mix together oats, coconut, almonds, wheat germ, flax seed and sesame seeds. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and toss well. Spread out mixture on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add dried cherries and bake until granola is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes longer. Cool.

Yield: 10 cups
Printable Recipe

Have fun with this recipe!  I'd love to hear of how you change it up!

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