It takes only a few minutes to stir up a delicious batch of this crunchy, wholesome, homemade granola and pop it in the oven. Careful! If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself taking one “taste test” after another!
Slow roasting the oats, almonds and other goodies makes this homemade granola extra tasty
Slap your hand if you find yourself taste-testing a fourth time, because as good as it is raw, the secret oomph in this granola comes from the slow roasting.
Most recipes use a higher oven temperature and shorter cooking time, turning only once. Trust Food Network’s Alton Brown to come up with a better way.
With Alton’s method, the oats, nuts and seeds are toasty-crunchy on the outside, slightly tender inside, the sugars caramelized, not burnt. I slow-roast mine like he does, with the ingredients my family loves, and I cannot keep it on the shelf.
Step by step, in pictures
You’ll find the recipe below, but first, the step-by-step photos. I like pictures, don’t you? Here, in photos, see just how easy it is to save money over store-bought brands, control the sugar and fat, and get the taste you want in your granola. Of course, you can change up the goodies. These are the ones we like best.
In a deep bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and almonds.
Then whisk up the syrup mixture.
Pour the syrup mixture over the oats and nuts and stir to combine.
Line two baking sheets with baker’s parchment and divide the mixture between them. Bake in an oven preheated to 350° Fahrenheit (F), and reduced to 250° upon popping in the trays. I’ve found that this initial heat helps retain more heat as you open and close the oven door over the next while. Perhaps it has something to do with getting the interior walls plenty hot.
Bake for one and a quarter hours, turning every fifteen minutes. Here you see one of the trays, after the first fifteen minute bake, awash in sunshine. Living in droughty California, we were as grateful last week for the sunny break as we are today for a new wave of El Nino rain.
Roast until the mixture reaches toasty, golden, can’t-wait-to-taste goodness. My little iPhone doesn’t quite capture the beauty of the slightly caramelized coconut and oats. I wish you could catch a whiff of this mapley-coconuty-oaty-nutty scent!
In the last fifteen minutes, while the oat mixture bakes, measure out the dried fruit, slightly less than half a cup each.
Dump the fresh-roasted granola back into your big mixing bowl and add the cranberries and raisins while it’s still hot. Their sugars like the heat and help spread a little of their flavor throughout the mix. Incidentally, that’s what I do when turning the granola too–just dump it back into the bowl, give it a quick turn and spread it onto the pan again. Easy peasy.
(Or snack time)
Heck, we even eat this for dinner some nights. When we’re too tired to cook, or just don’t feel like a larger meal, a cup of granola and half a cup of homemade almond, cashew or coconut milk, or a couple of spoonfuls of our favorite yogurt makes a lovely, light supper.
People who eat whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity, as measured by their body mass index and waist-to-hip ratios. They also have lower cholesterol levels.
Do you/are you granola?
When I was young, I steadfastly refused to make granola–for a long, long time. Until I came up with this recipe, I could deny that I was “a (hippie) granola” mama. Now of course, I’m just fine being a Granola Granny. Time changes us all. What about you? Are you a granola? Even if you aren’t, how do you like the stuff?
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Dear Readers: If you think you’ve seen this recipe before, you may well have. In August 2011, as a writer on the now-defunct site Squidoo, I first published this recipe under the user name graceonline. In August 2014, HubPages, where I am known as ecogranny, bought Squidoo. I opted to have my Squidoo pages, including this recipe, transferred to the new site. Now, in March 2016, I’ve brought it home–to YayYay’s Kitchen.