Happy New Year! I hope y’all and a safe and happy holiday. I was going to show you something chocolate today…but then I remembered how many people go on diets and join a gym at the beginning of the year. I don’t want to be responsible for any broken resolutions, so I’m saving the chocolate for another day and today I’m showing you how I make granola.
Ok I’ll admit when it comes to granola, I’m kind of a snob. I rarely buy granola, unless it’s a kind I’ve already tried and like. Sometimes I try different recipes, but this is the one I always come back to. I just like my granola the best. Although it’s fair to say I’m probably a little biased.
The first time I made granola was way back when I was in high school and still living with my parents. I got a recipe out of one of my Mom’s magazines. Probably Weight Watchers, since she was kind of a fanatic about them back then. The original recipe had about 15 different ingredients, but you might notice this recipe doesn’t have quite so many. Over the years I eliminated the majority of them, switched out the vegetable oil for butter, added brown sugar, and substituted maple syrup for the honey. I don’t eat granola because it’s healthy…I eat it because it tastes good! The healthy thing is just kind of a perk. I feel like a dozen kinds of nuts, germs (the cereal kind, not the make you sick kind…although those wouldn’t be good either), and seeds are just unnecessary. The greatest part about granola recipes is that you can add, subtract, and substitute anything you want. So if you like a lot of “things” going on in your granola, add them. I need my granola to be sweet and simple. And the most important part…it has to be full of big chewy clusters. Crumb-like granola = no bueno.
Then gather some old fashioned rolled oats, sliced almonds, flour, vanilla, maple syrup, melted butter, salt, brown sugar, and a mix of dried blueberries, and apricots.
Start by placing the oats, salt, brown sugar, almonds, and the flour into a large bowl. Flour is part of the magic secret to getting granola with clusters. I used whole wheat here because I am running very low on all-purpose, but either one works just fine.
Put it back in the oven and bake for 10-12 more minutes, but keep an eye on it. I’ve made this so many times in my oven that I know what works for me. But everyone’s oven is slightly different. If you see it’s starting to get too dark go ahead and take it out early.
P.S. Please ignore my pasty skin. It’s a sad year-round side effect of living in WA.
Now let the granola cool slightly on the baking sheet. Then sprinkle on the dried apricots and blueberries and gently toss everything together. You could go crazy here with a variety of dried fruits, toasted coconut, or even chocolate (just make sure it’s 100% cool if you add chocolate…otherwise it’ll melt) but the apricot blueberry combo is my favorite.
- 2 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- ½ cup Whole Wheat Flour
- ¼ cup Dark Brown Sugar
- ½ cup Sliced Almonds
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 3 TBS Unsalted Butter, Melted
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Dried Blueberries
- 1 cup Dried Apricots, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, almonds, and salt.
- In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the maple syrup mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to combine.
- Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 12 minutes.
- Gently stir the granola and place it back in the oven for 10-12 more minutes. Keep an eye on it and if it starts to get dark, remove it from the oven early.
- Cool granola on baking sheet for a few minutes. Add dried fruit and toss. Store in an airtight container.