This is by far my most requested recipe (not that it is saying much, I don’t get many requests, but of all of them this is the favorite). It is one that I have been making faithfully for years and it has slowly evolved from the recipe I was given to become my own.
It is is a great option for guests, we serve it at breakfast but keep it around as a snack. It keeps well and makes 20 cups (huge I know!) so you can make it once and then store it away for a good long while. Or you can put in a mason jar or zip lock bag and wrap with tissue paper and give it out as a gift (seriously, we do this all the time). Plus it is tasty and good for you (I’ll warn you, it does have a fair bit of sugar but its nothing compared to conventional breakfast cereals, anyway I add extra honey when I’m eating it over yogurt). It is a recipe that you can change and adjust according to your tastes. Plus it is forgiving, every time I make it I have some sort of mistake, I have forgotten to add salt or vanilla. This past time I was in a hurry to bake it so I turned up the heat, one pan burnt but one pan remained undercooked (I have a terrible oven). I just picked out the most burnt parts then mixed both pans together and called it a day. Really, if you pay attention (and even if you don’t) you are guaranteed to have a great granola.
I think the distinct taste of this granola comes from the molasses which adds a hearty richness that is lacking in a lot of store bought brands. Like I said I have made a few adjustments over the years. The original recipe calls for 1/2 lb of shredded coconut. I love coconut but my husband isn’t a big fan so in my version I essentially replaced it with an extra cup of seeds. This recipe also calls for 1 cup of wheat germ but is just as good if you want to leave it out and make it gluten free.
Okay, so let’s get started.
1. First find a giant bowl. For years I didn’t have a bowl large enough to mix it. I used to use my largest pot which still barely contained it. Now thanks to Ikea I have an extra large salad bowl which works great. Add your dry ingredients: oats, wheat germ, nuts and seeds and stir.
2. Make your sauce. Mix water, oil, honey, molasses plus, salt, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar, in a sauce pan. Heat the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved but don’t boil.
3. Pour warm sauce over dry ingredients and mix.
4. Pour onto baking sheets. I crowd mine onto two baking sheets and while baking I remove them every 10 minutes or so to stir and rotate. I have always had small ovens that heated pretty irregularly. If you have a bigger oven spread it out thinner and it will bake more evenly and you won’t need to stir it as often. How long you bake depends on what you like. My directions say 20-30 minutes. If you like a soft chewy granola the time may be less but if you want it crunchy it may be quite a bit more.
5. Remove and cool. It is okay to snack on it at this point, it really is irresistible. You can also add dried fruit at this stage if you like. My favorites have been blueberry and finely chopped dried papaya though typically we don’t add any.
6. To store I usually fill one mason jar and then transfer the rest into two gallon sized ziplock bags which I keep tucked in the back of the fridge. I keep the jar on the counter or in the pantry and I’ve never had a problem with it going bad. Honestly I think I’ve had some in the fridge for a year without a problem.
7. Enjoy over yogurt or in oatmeal or even with milk in place of a typical breakfast cereal. It was unintentional but once I started making this we stopped buying boxed cereals all together.
Recipe for My Go To Granola
10 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup wheat germ
3 cups of raw seeds, I usually do 1 cup of sunflower, 1 of sesame and then a mixture of pumpkin and flax.
3 cups of chopped nuts, I do a combination of almond, pecan and walnut
1 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla
1. Mix dry ingredients.
2. Mix sauce and warm on stove top until dissolved, don’t boil.
3. Pour ingredients onto baking sheets. Spread evenly.
4. Bake at 300 20-30 minutes, stir often to keep edges from burning, adjust cook time depending on preferred texture. Shorter for chewy, longer for crunchy.
5. Remove and cool, add chopped dried fruit if desired.
6. Store a small amount in a jar in the pantry, put remainder in zip-lock bags and store in the fridge.