Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oat-Nut Granola

Granola is one of those over-priced items at stores that you can easily make in your own kitchen.  And it makes for a healthy, filling breakfast or snack.  I can still remember the smell of it baking in the oven when my mom would make it growing up.  The best thing about the recipe is that you can change it easily depending on what items you have on hand.  Here's what I did last night:

5 cups old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup each: sliced almonds, roasted sunflower seeds, peanuts, chopped walnuts, and wheat germ or ground flax seed  (totaling about 2 cups... feel free to use whatever nuts you have available)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 T butter
1 T vegetable oil
1/3 cup sweetener (I use agave nectar, but you could substitute honey, maple syrup, or corn syrup if it's your only option)
1/2 t cinnamon (other spices are fine too- cloves, nutmeg etc.)
1 cup dried fruit (cranberries or raisins are my usual)

Turn oven to 300 degrees F
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl (excluding fruit)
Melt the butter and peanut butter together in a small bowl in the microwave. 
Once butter is melted, stir until combined and add the oil, sweetener & spices.
Pour this mixture over your dry ingredients and thoroughly mix with your hands.  Try to coat it all evenly.

Taste the mixture to see if it needs more sweetener or spices, to your taste. You can add more if necessary, or add more oats if it seems too sweet.
Spread the mixture in a 9x15 casserole dish and place in oven

Bake for 10-15 minutes, stir, and bake again for 10 more minutes.
Repeat this step, baking for 10 additional minutes each time until the granola has acquired a golden brown color.

Let it cool, and then add your dried fruit.
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Makes about 8 cups.

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