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The Greatest Granola

Lauren.Groveman's picture
Granola is the perfect breakfast cereal. Loaded with protein and natural fiber, it's a great way for you and the kids to start the day or get a quick mid-morning or afternoon "pick me up." The delicious combination of tastes and textures keeps this from tasting like health food (even though it really is). Feel free to change the types of nuts, dried fruits or the kind of sweetener, so you can customize your own favorite concoction. Serve with milk for breakfast or sprinkle on yogurt for lunch. Or simply enjoy out of hand as a snack. Yield: about 6 cups At-a-Glance Recipe Guide: Cooking muscle required: One Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking temp: 350F Cooking time: 15 to 25 minutes Cooling time: 20 minutes Do ahead potential: Granola can be made and stored in an airtight canister at room temperature for 2 months. Refrigerate for longer storage potential.
Ingredients
  Rolled oats 2 Cup (32 tbs), rolled (regular - not quick cooking)
  Unsweetened shredded desiccated coconut 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Wheat germ 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), toasted
  Wheat bran 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (unprocessed)
  Whole nuts 1 Cup (16 tbs), chopped (toasted, a combination of unsalted macadamias, blanched toasted almonds, hulled sunflower seeds, pistachios and/or walnuts)
  Canola oil 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
  Honey/Pure maple syrup or unsweetened apple juice 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (mild)
  Ground cinnamon 1 Teaspoon (scant)
  Pure vanilla extract 1 Teaspoon
  Almond extract 1⁄2 Teaspoon (pure)
  Dry fruits 1 Cup (16 tbs) (assorted, any combination of apricots, pitted prunes, cherries, pitted dates, figs or light and dark raisins)
Directions

1) To set up: Preheat the oven to 350o F. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together rolled oats, coconut, wheat germ, wheat bran and toasted nuts.

2) To prepare the granola: In a small saucepan, heat the oil, over low heat. Add honey, maple syrup or apple juice and stir well to combine. Heat until just hot throughout and then stir in cinnamon. Let heat a few seconds to release the flavor of the spice. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour this over the dry mixture and stir well to combine.

3) To bake: Pour the granola onto a large shallow baking sheet and bake stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the mixture is golden throughout. This will take 15 to 20 minutes; if using apple juice, bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

4) To complete and store: Stir dried fruit into hot granola mixture. Let cool thoroughly (once cool, the granola will feel crisp). Scrape the mixture up from the bottom of the baking sheet, allowing it to form small clumps. Put the granola in an airtight container and store at room temperature.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Medium
Cuisine: 
American
Course: 
Breakfast
Preparation Time: 
20 Minutes
Cook Time: 
55 Minutes
Ready In: 
75 Minutes
Servings: 
6

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