It never really occurred to me to make my own granola until now. Every couple of months, when I went through my box of granola, I would simply go to the store and pick up another box. It was fast and convenient. And sadly, that’s what the majority of consumers have accepted nowadays, the fact that it's convenient to get just about anything. Why bother to make your own, right? Well, for one thing, it’s so much healthier for you because you know what you’re putting into your food without all those additives and unnecessary fats and sugars. But more importantly, it’ll taste a thousand times better because you can never beat the taste of homemade.
A friend made some granola a few weeks back, which made me determined to make my own. I finally found some down time this weekend to make some hearty granola. I came across this recipe and thought it would make a great base for my granola. Let me just say how incredible your house will smell as the granola bakes. It’ll be hard to keep your fingers away from the granola as you take it from the oven and allow it to cool. Sprinkle over your morning yogurt, cottage or ricotta cheese, or ice cream, or pack a small handful to snack on in the afternoon.
Adapted from Adventures in Shaw
Makes about 5 cups granola
3 cups oats (the large variety)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly toasted
½ to ¾ cup dried cherries, cut in half if large (or you can substitute dried cranberries)
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup assorted nuts (whole almonds, walnuts, pecans), chopped
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Spread coconut onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast the coconut in the oven until they start to turn a light golden brown. Keep a close eye on the coconut, since it’ll quickly take on colour the minute you turn away from it. Set coconut aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, nuts, spices, salt, and sugar. Stir everything together. Fold in the oil and syrup and stir until everything is evenly coated.
Spread the granola in a single on two non-stick baking sheets. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until golden. Remove sheets from oven and allow to cool thoroughly. Toss with the toasted coconut and dried cherries.