My mom and dad both always made granola, and later Ansley kept me supplied with delicious granola based on her grandmother’s recipe. When she left, I was forced to finally make my own. And I discovered how easy it is.
I love granola on my oatmeal in the morning, by the handful when I am just passing the kitchen, and on top of Greek yogurt with honey and blueberries in the evening.
I must admit that the boys prefer their granola without whole seeds, without nuts that are too chunky and without dried fruit. But I really love the dried fruit, especially. So I have included it in the recipe here, even though to strictly fit within the parameters I have given myself for this blog, I should have left it out!
Anyway, here is my current recipe, inspired by Ansley and based loosely on Oh She Glows‘ granola clusters recipe.
1 cup almonds, divided
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, divided
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 T flax seeds
1 cup other nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews)
3 1/2 cups oats
2/3 cup dried fruit (this is optional. My preference is cranberries and papaya chunks – some others, like raisins, tend to burn)
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
Turn the oven on very low heat, 75 degrees C, 160 degrees F.
Put 1/2 cup of the almonds, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds and 1 T flax seeds into a food processor and blend until they become a fine meal. Transfer into a large bowl.
(Alternatively, blend all of the pumpkin seeds, so no whole ones are left for little people to find and complain about.)
In the food processor, blend the remaining 1/2 cup almonds with the other 1 cup of nuts, but only for about 5 seconds, so that there are some larger pieces left. Transfer into the bowl.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, oats, dried fruit, coconut, cinnamon and salt and mix well.
Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla and water and mix very well. The longer you mix, the more the oats break down and become sticky, which will help your granola bake into clusters.
Spread the mixture in a thin layer onto two rimmed baking sheets, and press it down with the back of a wooden spoon.
Place in the warm oven and let it dry and bake for about 6 hours. (I usually put it in the oven before I go to bed, and then wake up to a lovely nutty smell in the morning.)
Turn the oven up to 150 C/300 F and let the granola bake and brown for another 15 minutes. Make sure you take it out before it gets too brown. (It’s easy to leave it in too long at the higher temperature, but it can burn easily, so be careful.)
Leave on the pan until it cools, then store in a sealed container or in the freezer. (I can’t help eating lots while I am putting it away!)