Fruit & Nut Granola – addictive!

Before you read this post, I should caution you:  Homemade Granola doesn’t taste like the box or the bag!  It’s simply addictive.  Give someone you love a piece of rope, and ask them to “watch you like a hawk!”  If they notice that your arm swings forward each time you walk by a bowl of this granola . . . make them promise you, that they’ll TIE YOUR ARMS BEHIND YOUR BACK!

Our granola is chuck full of nuts and it isn’t overly sweet. If you omit the dried fruit, you might want to add a touch more honey.  I added a lot of dried cherries, dried golden raisins, dried blueberries that also sweeten the pot.  The dried banana chips really add the perfect punch.

In this house, we are nuts for nuts. I always add more nuts than a recipe calls for.  You will see:  raw almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, wheat germ, sesame seeds and unsweetened shredded coconut. If you live in the I.F. area, then Winco is the perfect place to shop for all those bulk items.

Guess what my favorite nut is?  I also love the dried cherries. The small black ones look like raisins, but they are dried blueberries.  Yum.

Homemade granola beats anything you’ll ever find in the grocery store.  I’ve yet to find one in a box or a bag that strikes my fancy. I take that back.  I actually did find one that was quite fabulous, but  the saturated fat calories on the back label, scared me straight away!

I searched high & low . . .

I opened up every cookbook I owned, and searched for homemade granola recipes.  I found several that sounded really good, but each was lacking something on my required list.  I like chunky, but my sweet half really doesn’t.  We both love nuts and dried fruit of all kinds.  My version of what’s sweet and his version of what’s sweet will be two different versions.  I had to find something in between.  I decided on a recipe in an OLD tattered cookbook, that once belonged to my Grandma. I couldn’t see a name to give proper credit, but the Title reads:  THE BEST GRANOLA EVER.

That did it for me.  The best granola ever.  Well then . . . I’m sold!

I know what your thinking now.  Why didn’t you name the Post:  The Best Granola Ever?  Those of you who blog . . . don’t even need to ask.  Let’s just say, it lights a fire under some of you.

My better half  really likes it.  I like it.  I like it too much.  It’s really a good thing that he’s not home during the day, because that rope would be tied behind my back!

If you live in the I.F. area, then Winco is the perfect place to shop for all the nuts and dried fruit.

As for  the Oatmeal:  The recipe calls for Old Fashioned rolled Oats . . . not instant or quick cooking. When you use all Rolled Oats, you will not achieve clustered type granola.  I’ve found that if you desire a chunkier granola, use half Old Fashioned rolled oats, and half quick oats.  I’ve tried it both ways . . . both are very good, but rolled oats are certainly better for you.

FYI:  First batch  . . . Gone with the wind!

There will be a second batch, but I want it to have big clusters. It’s better for taking on a hike.

I read that whisking one egg white until it’s frothy & foamy and adding that to your granola recipe – right before spreading it out on a baking sheet and baking will give you clusters. I’ll put it to the test, and let you know.  You can also add more syrup before baking, but that just ups the fat calories, and I’m not for that.  I want to eat it!

I’ve also tried flattening the mixture on the baking sheet as per the instructions of America’s Test Kitchen, but it eventually comes apart as well.  Any of you out there with ideas that have worked . . . leave us all a sweet comment.

Homemade granola is crunchy and ultra delicious and soooooo simple to make. It’s much less expensive than the boxes or bags you buy in the store.  As long as you don’t graze on it all day long, it provides a great breakfast, snack, or even fuel for your climb over the middle or Grand Tetons!

Been there. Done that.

 

Fruit & Nut Granola – addictive!
 
Optional nuts: Almonds, Hazelnuts, Cashews, Pistachios, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax Seeds, etc. Dried Fruits: Dried Cherries, Dried Blueberries, Strawberries, Apricots, golden raisins, etc.
:
Ingredients
  • For the Granola:
  • 7 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • or use
  • 3.5 cups rolled oats and 3.5 cups quick oats
  • 1½ cups of coconut, large unsweetened flakes or shredded (optional)
  • 3 cups nuts, either whole, chopped or slivered (optional)
  • ½ cup of flax seed (optional)
  • 1 cup of wheat germ
  • Mix all of the above in a very large bowl.
  • Then, in a large microwavable bowl or in a saucepan, mix:
  • For the Syrup:
  • 1 cup of canola oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup water or milk (I added water)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Dried Fruit added: Cherries, Blueberries, Golden raisins, Banana Chips
  • 2 cups of dried fruit – added after the granola is baked and cooled.
  • 2 cups of banana chips – added after the granola is baked and cooled.
  • Optional: [u]for clustered granola
  • 1 egg white whisked frothy (see notes below)
Instructions
  1. Heat syrup mixture on stovetop until smooth and warmed-through, and stir.
  2. Pour liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a big spoon until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and wet.
  3. (Add frothy egg white if using – stir well)
  4. Bake in 2 large cookies sheets lined with parchment or silpats.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes at 325
  6. Stir and switch pan positions.
  7. Turn oven temp down now to 225.
  8. Bake another 15 minutes at 225.
  9. Stir and switch pan positions.
  10. Bake another 10 minutes at 225.
  11. Note: My baking time was a bit longer than the recipe stated. I left the granola in the oven until it was a nice golden brown color – all the way through. For clustering, stir as little as needed.
  12. Take it out of the oven and let cool. Add dried fruit and banana chips as desired.
  13. Store in an airtight container. You can keep granola in the refrigerator in air-tight containers, if you don’t plan on eating it within one week.
  14. It just won’t last that long!
Notes
For Clustered or chunky granola: 1. Mix your batch of granola. 2. Whisk an egg white in a small cup until it is frothy and foamy. 3. Stir the egg white into the granola. Spread the granola out in an even layer on your prepared baking sheet, and bake the granola according to the instructions in your recipe. 4. Take the granola out of the oven and let it cool COMPLETELY, preferably overnight, uncovered. When it cools completely it will be clumpy. If you pour it off the baking sheet while still hot it will break up into loose granola and not get the chance to clump up. 5. When the granola is completely cool, break up into clumpy chunks, and transfer to an airtight container for storage.

 

 

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  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - June 11, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    This sounds lovely!!! Gotta love a good granola!ReplyCancel

  • Valerie - June 12, 2013 - 5:32 pm

    Lots of treasures in one granola. Sure looks good to me.ReplyCancel

  • Danielle - June 13, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    There’s nothing like homemade granola. This looks delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box - June 20, 2013 - 2:23 am

    You’re so right…the banana chips really make this recipe. I love it. And your photography is just beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Lily @ Life, Love, and Cupcakes - July 31, 2013 - 12:56 pm

    I’ve made granola a few times and usually didn’t like the way it turned out. Until earlier this week when I finally got it right…now I don’t think I’ll ever buy granola again! I love all of your additions, great inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - December 20, 2013 - 8:42 am

    I make granola often…I’m going to use your syrup recipe next time. I always use a couple of egg whites, we like it to make big chunks and that works beautifully, and it adds protein to the mix.ReplyCancel

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