Granola is a breakfast staple, but I swear every time I buy it I about choke on the price tag. For good stuff the cost is outrageous, and the reasonably priced granola is icky. So, about a year ago I decided ‘to hell with buying granola, I am just going to make it’… and I have never looked back. Homemade granola is incredible… really, so much better than that store-bought expensive crap. And, It is extremely versatile, you can put whatever you want into your granola! Feeling like blueberries?? Put some in.. Feeling like butterscotch chips?? put ’em in. Also, when making at home, you can control the texture of your granola. I like thick and chunky granola, but if your heart desires a finer texture so you can sprinkle on yogurt, you can do that too. Really the sky is the limit.
Here is the recipe that I use. I discovered it on the back of a flax-seed package one day at the store – it is simple and delicious.
6 cups oatmeal (not quick oats)
2 cups shredded coconut – sweetened or unsweetened
1 cup flax seeds
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups chopped nuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together oil, brown sugar, maple syrup and microwave on high for three minutes. Mix together the rest of the ingredients in large bowl – except any chocolate chips, save those for later. Pour hot syrup mixture over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture onto two cookie sheets and spread evenly. I like to line my cookie sheets with parchment for easy cleanup, but this is not necessary. Bake in oven for 10-15 min, then take out and mix around the granola. Then bake another 10-15 min until granola is just starting to brown lightly around edges. Mix hot granola with spatula for a really fine texture, for medium texture let cool completely then break into chunks. Add chocolate chips after granola has cooled completely. *For Chunky Granola: Bake for 20-30 min without the mix session in the middle. When finished baking, let cool completely before breaking up into pieces. This will give you perfectly chunky snackable granola.
Remember, you can substitute just about anything with this recipe to tailor it to your likes. Also, this recipe makes a TON of granola. It stores beautifully, but I have never had it last longer than two weeks – and that is only with two people in the house!