I am very particular about granola. After years of making my own granola (and even running my own granola business for a little while), I’ve discovered there are specific qualities I desire in granola:
- There is a delicate balance of sweet and salty. A little sweet, with a hint of salt, is needed.
- Shredded coconut is a must.
- Skip the dried fruit. Granola often contains chewy things like raisins or cranberries, and I find myself picking around those pieces to get to the crunchy good stuff.
- My favorite nuts are almonds and macadamia nuts. Cashews and pistachios are good too. Walnuts and pecans, not so much.
- Granola must be baked to a rich brown. I want crunchy, crunchy, crunchy. Bake that granola until it is a few moments away from becoming over-baked.
This granola is probably the most frequently-made recipe in our home. I’ve made this dozens of times, and always have the ingredients readily available. It is flexible, so you can swap in your own favorite nuts, seeds, or oil. But keep the same ratios of sweeteners, oil, and ingredients. Like I said, I prefer my granola without dried fruit, but if you disagree, you can mix in 1 cup of dried fruit to the baked and cooled granola. Surely you’ll find your own version you like best.
My Favorite Granola
4 cups whole oats
1 cup chopped nuts + 2 tablespoons whole nuts (almonds, macadamias, cashews)
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons small seeds (quinoa, sesame, flax)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup oil (canola, olive, coconut)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Cover a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or a Silpat baking mat. In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread mix into an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Stir. Bake for another 15-25 minutes until it reaches a rich, golden brown. Cool in pan completely. Store in an airtight container.