Wednesday, February 23, 2011

good ol' granola

The winter season is almost over (thank goodness!!!) but the cold and bitter temperature sure keeps me busy baking in the kitchen. Plus it's a sure fire way to warm up the house and permeate it with a smell that will put pounds on you way before you even eat it. 
But granola is healthy, right???

I've been making this granola recipe for years!!! I have given it away as gifts and have even shared it with my family and friends. It's no secret.....

I admit I've done my share of tweaking to it, but if you want to try the real deal, check out Alton Brown's granola recipe here. AB adds raisins to his, not my fave, but I have sprinkled in bittersweet chocolate chips and dried sour cherries when I want to make it seem more like a "treat". 

Our favorite way to devour these chunky-crunchy-almondy nuggets is to layer it with Greek yogurt and a berry compote.


3 cups whole rolled oats ***do not use Quick or Instant***
2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 275°. Line a rimmed 18 x 13 inch baking sheet with a Silpat mat. ***If you don't have one of these, not to worry, you can use your "naked" baking sheet or line with parchment paper***

Dump everything into a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. ***I use your kitchen's best tool....clean and dry hands*** 

Spread out onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Stirring every 15 minutes for even baking and browning. ***Sometimes I cheat a little and stir every 30 minutes***

Cool completely on baking sheet. ***If you have decided you wanted to add a little dried fruit, now is the time. Sprinkle your desired fruit on top of warm granola and give it a little stir. Cool completely. For chocolate lovers, wait until the granola is completely cool before tossing in chocolate chips or better yet...plain M&Ms.***

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