There are some things that are so simple it’s hard to believe you haven’t made them yet. For me, one of them was granola. It’s hard to believe it took me this long to get around to making my own. There’s no special equipment to buy, most of the ingredients are things I tend to keep around the house, and it doesn’t require any special skill. So I finally made myself do it over the weekend. It was just as delicious and as easy as everyone says it is.
I had a hard time settling on a granola recipe. I’m pretty sure there are about a million different granola recipes on the internet, each delicious in its own way. I finally decided on a maple granola version from King Arthur, but there are still several others I would like to try. I halved the recipe because it called for a cup of maple syrup, and I couldn’t stand the thought of using that much maple syrup all at once. I have a relatively small container of maple syrup that my parents’ neighbor made and I’m trying to make it last. I thought that the half recipe would be the perfect amount, but I didn’t take John into account. You see, John doesn’t eat breakfast. Or at least he didn’t until this week. Apparently homemade granola made a breakfast eater out of him.
I’ve (well, apparently, we’ve) been eating this with milk as breakfast cereal and I’m loving it. The level of sweetness is just right and the maple flavor is delicious. It’s also nice and filling. But the truly noteworthy thing about this recipe is the smell that filled the apartment (and probably our neighbors’ apartments as well). I think that smell is my favorite smell in the world. If you want to make a house smell like home, make this granola.
My one objection, which wasn’t so much an objection as a personal preference, is that it didn’t clump up very much. My favorite part of granola is the big clumps. Next time I’m going to look for a recipe that clumps up more. And there will definitely be a next time soon because after eating homemade, I’m not likely to go back to store-bought granola.
Vermont Maple Granola
Time: 2 hours 15 minutes (mostly inactive)
Yield: A bunch of granola
Mine didn’t have any almonds, because I’m a flaky shopper and forgot to get any, even though they were one of the first things on my list. So I went heavy on the walnuts instead. I also completely omitted the Baker’s Special Dry Milk. My grocery store doesn’t carry the King Arthur kind and the smallest container of dried milk that they had in stock was enough to make 20 gallons of milk. I couldn’t think of anything to substitute, so I left it out. This is the whole recipe, which will make a pretty substantial amount of granola.
1 cup toasted coconut
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup almonds, sliced or broken up
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped or broken up
1 cup sunflower seeds, raw or toasted
1/2 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
additional dried fruit/nuts as desired
In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, wheat germ, nuts, seeds, and milk powder. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Pour over dry mixture in bowl, stirring and tossing till everything is very well combined.
Spread granola on a couple of large, lightly greased baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for 2 hours, tossing and stirring mixture every 15 minutes or so. Remove pans from oven and cool completely. Transfer granola to a large bowl, and mix in raisins and additional dried fruit, as desired.