Granola is another one of my many staple foods I premake to keep on hand. It stores well for a month in a well-sealed container in the pantry and longer in the frig or freezer. Mixed in plain yogurt, topped on baked apples, grilled peaches, layered in a parfait, sprinkled on pancakes and waffles or snacked on straight up!
I like to change it up seasonally – tropical like mango, pineapple for summer, pumpkin seeds, walnuts for fall, cranberries, pecans for winter and dried blueberries for spring. Many recipes call for oil, but I prefer to use applesauce. Occasionally I will add in one tablespoon of walnut or hazelnut oil to intensify the flavor.
Roughly tweaked from Barefoot Contessa
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup almonds or nuts of your choice, or a mixture
1 cup flaked coconut
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1/3 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional)
1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)
1/2 cup applesauce, no sugar added
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup or agave, depending on your sweet tooth
1 tablespoon walnut or hazelnut oil (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries or dried fruit of your choice or a mixture
Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine together the oats, nuts, coconut, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and wheat germ. In a separate bowl stir together the applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, honey and optional walnut or hazelnut oil.
Add the liquid to the oat mix and stir together until combined well. Spread evenly onto a large baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally until the granola turns a nice, even golden brown, around 30-40 minutes depending on the oven.
Remove granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add in dried fruit. Stored cooled granola in an airtight container.
Macadamia nuts, coconut, dried pineapple
Walnuts, dried apples, dates or figs
Pecans, dried cherries, mini chocolate chips
Almonds, 1/2 cup almond butter, dried mango or golden raisins
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.