- 1/3 to 1/2 cup butter or vegetable oil (as desired)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sweetener (you will need the lesser amount if using agave syrup or honey)
- Vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom
- 4 cups flaked grains, such as oat, kamut, rye
- Coconut, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, flax seeds, chia seeds (optional)
- 2 cups (about 8 ounces) lightly chopped nuts (any proportion)
- 1 cup chopped dried fruit
1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2 In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter (or, if using oil, warm it) and add the sweetener along with the vanilla, cinnamon, or other spices you're using. If using honey for the sweetener, see the variation.
3 In a large bowl, combine the flaked grains, coconut or wheat germ, seeds, and nuts. Toss to mix. Pour the warmed butter or oil and sweetener over and toss with a large spoon or spatula until evenly and lightly coated.
4 Transfer the mixture to a large baking sheet and spread out evenly in a thin layer. You may need to use two baking sheets. Bake until evenly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Stop halfway through and stir the ingredients so that they brown evenly. Remove from the oven, add the dried fruit, and toss to combine. Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet and store at room temperature in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks, stored properly. I store mine in mason jars on the counter. It looks nice and keeps the granola fresh and handy.
If using honey, there's no need to heat the oil first, but you still need to melt the butter (if using). Just whisk the fat together with the vanilla or cinnamon and pour it over the flakes, nuts, and extras, and toss and bake as directed. When you remove the granola from the oven, add the dried fruit, and drizzle the honey over it while still warm, toss to coat, and cool and store as directed.
Note that honey will produce a sticky granola that clumps together. It's not
unpleasant, just more difficult to portion as you can't pour it, and it's difficult to scoop.
Makes 2 quarts.
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Excerpted from D.I.Y. Delicious by Vanessa Barrington Copyright © 2010 by Vanessa Barrington. Photo Copyright © 2010 by Sara Remington. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.