Baking, In the Kitchen

The Best Granola

FRESH GRANOLA

I know there are numerous recipes out there for granola. And a zillion choices to buy at the store but there is something special about making your own.  First it's super easy, two it's not that expensive to do, three you can do it with kids, four you know what you are putting into it, five filling your kitchen with a sweet and toasted seed smell is the best.

I've been experimenting with different recipes and this one I think may be the best. And coincidentally it is called the Best Granola. I think the secret ingredient which is not so secret, is the salt.  I also like the fact that you can mix it up and use what you have on hand.  Or don't have. 

The Kitchn has quite a number of granola recipes.  But this is my favorite. Click here to visit their website. 

Makes about 6 cups granola

 

Ingredients

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 to 2 1/2 cups your choice of nuts and seeds*
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup oil, such as olive oil
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon liquid sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cups dried fruits, chopped

Note: Nuts that are already roasted should go in at the end after the granola is baked so as not to burn.

Equipment

Mixing bowls
Measuring cups and spoons
Spatula
Parchment
Half-sheet pan or baking shee

Instructions

1. Set out your ingredients: For this particular run of granola we are using: 3 cups old-fashioned oats, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup sesame seeds, 1/2 cup almonds, 1/2 cup wide-flake, unsweetened coconut (added near the end of baking), 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped (added at the end), 1 cup roasted pistachios, chopped (added at the end)

2. Preheat oven and mix dry ingredients: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the oats and any untoasted nuts or seeds together in a large bowl. Stir to combine.

3. Mix in the spices: Add salt, cinnamon, and cardamom and stir thoroughly to combine.

4. Stir in the liquids: Stir in the oil, sweetener, and vanilla.

5. Bake the granola: Turn the granola out onto a parchment-lined half-sheet pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the mixture is light brown and toasty.

6. Stir the granola: Stir every 15 minutes or so for an even color and to make sure the granola is cooking evenly. (If using coconut, add in the last 15 minutes of baking.)

7. Prepare any late-addition ingredients: Roughly chop any dried fruits and roasted nuts being added after baking.

8. Stir in late-addition ingredients: Remove from the oven and add the chopped dried fruits and any roasted nuts at this time. Stir to combine.

9. Let the granola cool: Let cool before enjoying. The granola will continue cooking just a bit in the cooling process — it will firm up/dry out, so if it seems a little too wet don't worry.

10. Store the granola: Store in an airtight container and it should stay fresh for 7 to 10 days. For longer shelf life, store in the refrigerator.

Additional Notes:

1. Want Clumpy Granola? The key to getting chunkier granola is not to mix the granola as it's baking. Pat the wet mixture down into the baking sheet with the back of a spatula and don't mix it or disturb it while baking. Then, after cooking, you can remove it from the pan in granola chunks and store as indicated above.

2. Nuts and Fruits: I love working with sliced almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and sesame seeds. As for fruits, dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, raisins and currents are all great choices. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite!

3. Consider Your Oats: Make sure to use old-fashioned oats for your granola, not quick-cooking oats. quick-cooking oats are less substantial and will cook differently and result in an almost dusty granola texture.

4. Bulk Spices: When buying spices for your granola, buy in bulk! It's almost always the freshest.

5. Mixing Techniques: While granola is absolutely a one-bowl affair, you want to mix all of your dry ingredients together before adding your wet ingredients so as to avoid clumping of salts and spices.

6. Don't Fear the Salt! Salt enhances the flavor of your granola — most people don't use enough of it! Use it.

7. Experiment with Savory Additions: I use olive oil for my granola which gives it a special toastiness. I also love using cacao nibs and a little extra salt, all of which result in an almost savory granola. Explore that savory edge!

I copied and pasted their recipe.  However the photos are all mine.  I have made this many times and make it different each time.  Enjoy! 

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parfait

My favorite way to eat granola, fruit and yogurt combo!

Easy to take on the go using a mason jar.