I blame this on Dave. He posted about his Muesli that he made and it got me to remembering when I used to make granola. I had kids then and it was a lot of work since they would eat it all up so quickly. But homemade granola is delicious. And fun since you get to pick your own flavors.
The basic recipe that I use is not an exact recipe. It is a set of proportions that I like and have found works over time. The flavors can change based on your whim or what is available. I don't like most commercial granolas as they are too sweet for me. So this recipe is for granola with just a touch of sweetness. If you like sweet add brown sugar. You can add however much you want to make it sweet enough maybe 1/2 - 1 cup. I also don't add vegetable oil. Coconut milk has a lot of oils in it and adds flavor. The recipe makes about three quarts.
Daphne's Granola Recipe
- 4 cups oats
- 1 1/2 c oat flour or extras
- 2 c chopped raw nuts (they get roasted as the granola cooks)
- t salt
- 3/4 c light coconut milk
- 1/2 c juice concentrate
- 1/2 c liquid sugar
- 1 1/4 c dried fruit
Spread the mixture out on two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake. I bake at 300F for about 40-50 minutes. After the first 10 minutes I switch the top for the bottom cookie sheet. Then every 10 minutes after I stir the mixture well. It works best on a jelly roll pan as they have sides, but I don't own any now. Keep a close eye on them and remove when they start to lightly brown (but not just the little tiny edges, mix those into the middle so they don't burn). The mixture will harden up when it cools. Don't expect it to be crunchy right from the oven. If it doesn't harden up once it is cooled, you didn't cook it long enough. Just put it back in and do it some more. Once it is cool mix in the dried fruit and pack into airtight jars. If you like flax seed in your mix, this would be the time to add it too. Cooking flax seed isn't a good idea.
As you can see I cooked the one on the right more. The one on the left is just barely done. I made three types. The first on the left was a typical cinnamon (1 T) flavored one. The nuts were a mix of almonds and pecans. The fruit was blueberries. The juice concentrate was apple. The liquid sugar was maple and I added a tablespoon of vanilla extract. The one on the right had sunflower seeds, pistachios, dried Montgomery cherries, cloves (1/2 t), almond extract (1/2 t), orange juice concentrate, and honey. The third type which isn't shown was a gingerbread flavored one. It had almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, golden raisins, molasses, dried ginger (1 T), allspice and nutmeg (1/2 t), cinnamon (1 T), and apple and orange juice concentrate.
As you can see the recipe is very flexible and only limited by your imagination. You can make all sorts of interesting flavors. I'm wondering if I can switch it up when I start getting strawberries and use fruit puree instead of concentrated fruit juice. I may have to use more, which would make the mixture too moist. But I suppose that just means it has to cook longer. I'll see when the season hits. And I ought to note the "extras" part. I used oat flour all the time (oatmeal ground in the food processor). But you can use other flours. You could be healthy and use ground quinoa or amaranth - Dave pops his amaranth. Or you could add some chopped coconut flakes, sesame seeds or any kind of bran.