My awesome mom-in-law is coming for a visit this week. Whenever the sous-chef and I go to visit her and her husband, she spoils us rotten and stocks the kitchen with our favorite foods. So I figured it would be nice to return the favor when she comes to see us.
One of her favorite breakfast foods is granola (with yogurt) so I figured I'd pick up some fancy-schmancy granola at the Andronicos. But my hand actually flew back involuntarily, as if I'd been burned, when I saw the price next to the teeny tiny bags of nutty, crunchy goodness. $7.49 for a miniscule bag of granola that would only fill two cereal bowls?!?!? You've got to be frikking kidding me...
I decided that I'd make my own since it's pretty easy to make delicious homemade granola (plus, as I think I've mentioned before, I am cheap.) Below is a basic recipe that you can adapt depending on what you like or what you have in the house.
The main trick is to cook it until it's browned and crisp but catch it before it burns - just be vigilant about checking and stirring it while it's baking and you should be fine. My oven is sort of uneven (much hotter in the back and on the bottom) so I turn the pans and rotate them from top to bottom once to keep things cooking more evenly.Homemade Granola
Makes about 7 cups
- 4 cups old-fashioned oats (steelcut or rolled, do not use instant)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like your cereal)
- 1 1/2 cup sliced almonds, walnuts, or pecans (just omit if you don't like nuts)
- 3 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup raisins, currants, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried apricots, etc.
1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
2. In a bowl mix the oats, nuts, seeds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey and then whisk in the vanilla.
4. Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are well-coated.
5. Spread granola in a single layer over a heavy baking sheet.
6. Bake 30-35 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Should be browned but not burnt.
7. Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely. Break up any large clumps while the mixture is still warm.
8. Stir in the dried fruit once the mixture has cooled completely.
9. Seal granola in an airtight container or plastic bag (you can put it in the fridge or on a shelf but it'll keep longer in the fridge.) It should keep for 1-2 weeks (if it does not get eaten first.)