Crunchy Granola

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

Moist Ingredients:

Ingredients To Add After Baking:

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cover a cookie sheet with a single sheet of parchment paper. The parchment paper should fit almost perfectly in the bottom of the cookies sheet from the short end to the short end. Let the paper overlap the short ends of the cookie sheet by about 6-inches.
  3. In a large bowl mix together oats and spices.
  4. Add coconut and nuts.
  5. In a small bowl mix together honey, oil and vanilla
  6. Add honey mixture to dry ingredients.
  7. Mix together using a large spoon. You may need to roll up your sleeves and mix with your hands.
  8. Do not over mix because you will break up the oats too much.
  9. Do not worry about getting everything completely coated with the honey mixture, because as you bake you will be tossing the warm ingredients together.
  10. Pour mixture onto cookie sheet.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes on 350°.
  12. Remove from oven after 15 minutes and toss gently with a spatula or take hold of the parchment paper and roll the mixture over onto itself.
  13. Bake for another 15 minutes on 350°.
  14. Toss again.
  15. Turn oven down to 275°.
  16. Bake for another 30 minutes; tossing/mixing after 15 minutes.
  17. Mixture should brown evenly. The browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
  18. Remove the pan from the oven and mix in cherries or dried fruit of your choice.
  19. Cool on a rack.
  20. Once the granola reaches room temperature transfer to a sealed container. Keep the container in the refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.

Comments

Yield: About 8 cups (at least 16 servings)

This may seem like a time-consuming task, but it is so nice to know what is in your granola and to be able to pick and choose your ingredients. If you don't like nuts you can make it without. If you want more dried fruit you can mix it up a bit. Be creative and make a granola that you will enjoy eating.

If you want sweeter granola try adding an extra ¼ cup honey. If you want less sweet granola decrease the amount of honey.

I use flaked, unsweetened coconut because I like the size consistency. The powder-like shredded coconut is too fine and causes the granola to be less crunchy. However, if you cannot find flaked, unsweetened coconut then buy shredded, sweetened coconut.

Crunchy granola makes a yummy and healthy gift idea for the holiday season. Pour some granola into a container with a lid. Add a pretty ribbon or bow and you've got a very nice and thoughtful gift!

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Adapted from Mark Bittman. "The Minimalist: Crunchy Granola". The New York Times, January 9, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com.