I have always been a fan of granola. Toasty honey roasted oats and nuts, sweet dried fruit, and that delightful crunch! On top of yogurt, drenched in milk, and even as a garnish for oatmeal, I eat a lot of granola, and have tasted many a variety with varying degrees of success. In fact I was quite certain I had tried them all, that is until I met my husband, and (in this case more importantly) his mother.
Whenever we head to his neck of the woods, I know what's coming... lots and lots of the of the best granola I have ever had. After the first few visits, my now Mother-in-Law decided to let me in on the secret. So I'm not entirely certain, but the fact that I have learned to make this recipe, and make it taste almost like hers, may be part of why my husband proposed, maybe. Anyway, it's become almost a tradition now to head to the store, stock up in the bulk aisle, and catch up, while we chop up all the lovely ingredients.
Now this granola is not shy. Packed with loads of good-for-all-of-you nutrition, it will keep you and your little ones going strong through all your summer adventures.
Oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds, along lots of delicious honey form the base. Once it's all golden brown, in goes the chopped, dried fruit. I use a combination of apricots, unsweetened coconut, raisins, tart cherries, and yummy crystallized ginger. Each alone is a wholesome addition to any snack or meal, but combined with the crunchy, roasted, sweet awesomeness that is the best granola I've ever had, this delightful concoction is pretty hard to beat.
So as the summer adventures beckon, stay fueled and ready for whatever mother nature throws at you with this great Super Granola recipe!
Recipe (adapted from this hippie classic):
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups chopped almonds (peanuts and cashews work too, or a combination of all three)
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup shaved or shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup raisins
- 1-2 cups dried chopped fruit. I used equal parts apricots, tart cherries and crystallized ginger for a total of 1 1/2 cups.
- 1/2 cup cooking oil (do not use olive oil)
- 1 cup honey
Start by mixing the oats, nuts and grains in a large bowl. Next up, measure the oil into the measuring cup and swirl it around before pouring into the bowl. Then measure out the honey in the same, unwashed cup. I love this trick, the oil left in the cup will make all the honey pour right out. Next, toss everything together until evenly coated and then pour out into a baking pan. I used two large rimmed cookie sheets lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, turning it with a spatula every ten minutes or so. You want everything to be an even golden brown. When it is finished cooking, scrape the toasted granola into a large mixing bowl. When its cooled down enough to handle, add all the fruit and stir to combine. Careful with the mixing here, as this stuff does not want to stay in the bowl, and it will go flying everywhere (trust me on this one).
Once its all together, you're good to go!
With the Kids:
* Last time in Recipes: Tacos à la Julia Child