Granola fan? For so many of us, it’s a perfect go-to treat, whether we’re planning a simple breakfast, packing a snack for when we’re on the run, or looking for a fun dessert topping alternative (it’s great over ice cream, and lends crunch folded in with cobblers, muffins and other baked treats).
I find myself baking up batches of the stuff, particularly during the summer months when I’m looking for recipes that are simple and versatile. If you love granola, but have never considered making it yourself, I can’t stress how easy it is. While you can vary the ingredients to suit your tastes, granola generally consists of rolled oats tossed with nuts, flaked coconut, spices, brown sugar and/or other sweeteners, and oil (the fat lends richness and helps the granola toast up nicely). Spread everything out on a rimmed baking sheet and cook until it’s golden brown, tossing every once in a while for even toasting and coloring. When the mixture is cooled, toss in dried fruit, cacao nibs chocolate chips for added flavors.
The recipe below makes about two quarts of granola, though it’s easily doubled if you want a larger batch. And it keeps well; simply store the granola in an airtight temperature at cool room temperature for up to a couple of weeks. Enjoy!
1 hour, plus cooling time. Makes about 1 quart granola
1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons wheat bran
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
Dried fruit, cacao nibs or chocolate chips, if desired
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the oats, wheat bran, pecans, almonds and coconut. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Pour over the maple syrup and oil, mixing well to combine. Spread the mixture out onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is toasted to a nice, even golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool, then fold in the dried fruit, cacao nibs and/or chocolate chips to taste, if using. The granola will keep, sealed in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dry place, up to 2 weeks.
Note: From Noelle Carter. Adapted from a recipe I created while at the Los Angeles Times.