It’s sticky and damp. The kind of weather where poorly treated wooden furniture gets gummy and wet bathing suits never really dry and start to smell sour. It’s the kind of weather where papers get limp and chips in an open bag go soft almost immediately. In this general sogginess, there’s an appeal to crunch.
This morning, breakfast was simple and cool—and crunchy. I scooped up yogurt and the granola I made last night (with a little homemade apple sauce for the girls too).
I’ve been collecting granola recipes for a while. I stumbled across these from Katrina Kenison, Molly Wizenberg, and Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen (side note for years I read that as Smitten Kitten, which has the benefit of a rhyme but doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a food blog). I ended up adapting this adaptation of Alana Chernila’s granola from The Homemade Pantry.
The recipe I consulted said it would make 16 cups, which seemed like a lot if I didn’t love it (or if I was the only one who liked it), so I halved it. I ended up with two quart jars and most of a pint jar filled (after I stood over the pan and consumed what felt like half a pan).
Sara’s #1 Granola
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced raw almonds
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp flax seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
¼ cup raw millet
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup coconut oil (or a little less)
¾ cup maple syrup
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
½ cup unsweetened coconut
½ (or more) dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Combine the dry ingredients (oats, almonds, wheat germ, flax seeds, sesame seeds, millet, cinnamon, and salt) in a large bowl. (Don’t add the coconut and dried cranberries yet).
- Whisk together all the wet ingredients (oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts).
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix with your hands until everything is coated.
- Spread this mixture on two cookie sheets with sides (lining with parchment paper is optional—I did this time).
- Put the cookie sheets in the preheated oven and cook for about 90 minutes. Rotate the pans every 30 minutes to keep them cooking evenly. (You don’t need to stir the granola, just rotate the pans.) With about 15 minutes left, sprinkle the coconut over both pans.
- Remove from oven when granola is browned. Mix in the dried cranberries while granola is still warm (Add any dried fruit after you take the granola out of the oven so they don’t overcook and harden). Let cool completely before storing in airtight containers.
- I might try baking this a little longer next time for a little more golden brown color. I started late, so bed won out over browning. I’ll also try spreading the granola a little thinner in more pans.
- Don’t skimp on the salt.
- Granola offers lots of flexibility. I used flax seed, millet, and wheat germ because I happened to have them in the house. I could have used sunflower or pumpkin seeds. I think I like the millet, though. I used maple syrup as a sweetener because I have a lot of it, though I could have used a mix of maple and honey. For dried fruit I only had dried cranberries and raisins in the house, and I’m not a huge fan of raisins.
- Based on another recipe I read, I added the coconut late to keep it from overbrowning, though I haven’t experimented enough to know if that’s necessary.
- I made this at night after the kids were in bed, but I realized they’d probably enjoy helping next time. There’s plenty of non-exact measuring and lots of mixing—and helping make it might convince the little one who didn’t like it to give it another try. Mixing in chocolate chips would probably do the trick too.