Not only is granola easy to make, it can be made in an infinite number of way with whatever ingredients you like. You can use any type of nut, dried fruit, seed, and spice you can imagine. Play around and create your favorite recipe.
There are two different ways you can approach baking the granola:
1. If you want large chunks, bake the granola in a thin layer for about a half hour, without stirring, until it turns light brown. If your oven has hot spots, rotate the pan to avoid one side getting too brown. Take it out of the oven and let it cool on the pan. When cool, you can then break it up into whatever size pieces you want, and at this point you would add in your dried fruit. If you added the fruit before it went in the oven, the fruit would turn rock hard.
2. If you want loose granola, bake it in a thin layer for about 20 minutes, then stir it every 5 minutes after that until it is light golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and put back in the mixing bowl and add the dried fruit.
Maple Spice Granola
makes about 9 cups
4 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup cashews
3/4 cup cocoa nibs
1 cup dried currants
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup neutral oil (canola, peanut, sunflower)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients except for oil, maple syrup, and currants. Mix well.
2. Add oil and maple syrup and mix well again so all ingredients are wet.
3. Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silpat. Spread out 1/2 to 3/4 of the mixture in a thin layer on the pan and place in the middle of the oven. Bake according to the explanation above for either chunky or loose granola. When cool, store granola in an airtight container.