I have always enjoyed granola – My adoration probably started as a kid eating Alpen Chocolate Museli, chocolatey bits mixed in with oats and almonds. Museli and granola are cousins to each other – both can contain oats, nuts, seeds, & dried fruit and muesli is often thought of as healthier, because it isn’t baked with oil or sugar. Granola and Museli can also be high priced if you are looking for high quality, low sugar, organic or natural versions. Making your own can be a wonderful way to control the ingredients, customize to your tastes and control the types of oils and fats.
I make a very large batch of granola about once a month and often share a quart jar with a neighbor because the batch doesn’t all fit in the gallon jar I keep in the pantry. I used to eat a boxed pecan granola that I’d buy at the grocery store – it was yummy but sugary and expensive. Then one day about 7 years ago I was at my midwife, Julia Bower’s, home and in her kitchen were two trays of granola, still warm from the oven. She offered me a bowl over served over plain yogurt and I was in heaven. This was the best granola I’d ever eaten, full of nuts, seeds and perfectly crunch and not overly sweetened. I asked Julia if she’d share the recipe and she listed off all the ingredients and I wrote them down in my day planner and made a batch the next day.
The basic technique for making granola is always the same, but what you put in it makes it different and special. Use this recipe as a basic guideline and change it as you like. I use evaporated milk powder for the protein boost, but leave it out for dairy-free or vegan. Customize the nuts or seeds you prefer. I prefer mostly honey and a little maple syrup for flavor. Sometime I use canola oil, sometime olive oil, grapefruit seed oil or coconut . Julia adds shredded coconut and dried fruit to her recipe on her website, but my husband doesn’t like coconut and my kids pick out the dried fruit, so I leave those out.
This recipe makes around 4 quarts of granola. Serve it as a cereal with an unsweetened milk – I prefer almond milk. Or add 1/2 cup on top of a bowl of unsweetened yogurt and drizzle of honey and a handful of fresh berries.
- 5 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup flax seeds
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup evaporated dry milk powder (or soy powder)
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup oat germ
- 1 cup oil
- 1 cup sweet (I use honey & maple syrup)
- dash of salt
- drizzle of vanilla, dash of cinnamon
- optional – coconut, dried fruit
- Heat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine the oats, bran, nuts and seeds, milk powder, the coconut if you’re using it, cinnamon, salt, and sweetener. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. The mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
- Remove the pan from the oven and add dried fruit if you are using it. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until the granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely or store in a pantry and eat within the month.
Kate Griffin & Jayme Moore