Homemade granola

from melskitchencafe.com

6.5 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)

2.5 cups unsweetened, desiccated coconut (I used basic sweetened coconut because I had it on hand)

1 cup raisins

1 cup dried cranberries

1 1/4-1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (or whole, chopped, slivered or a combination – I used slivered)

1 1/4 cups pecans (whole or chopped to the size you like)

1/2 cup high-quality honey

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to distribute oil and honey evenly. Spread a thin layer of mixture on two rimmed baking sheets (half sheet pans) lined with parchment paper (I used my silpat liners). Bake for 15-20 minutes stirring mixture and rotating sheets half way through until mixture is an even golden brown. Be careful to watch granola: it will quickly turn from golden to burnt and will continue to cook as it cools when you take it out of the oven. Mixture will be moist when it comes out of the oven but will crisp and clump as it cools. Keeps for 1-2 weeks.

Variations:

• Substitute any of the nuts for other nuts such as cashews, walnuts or peanuts (it’s nice to leave some of the nuts whole as it varies the texture)

• Add additional dried fruit such as apricots or dates

• Add 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

• For extra-nutty granola increase proportion of nuts

French Chocolate Granola

*Yield: about 5 cups

3 cups rolled oats

½ cup raw almonds, chopped

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (once again, I used sweetened coconut because I had it on hand) 

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 

Pinch of salt 

6 Tbsp. mild honey 

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 

½ cup, or more, finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, coconut, sugar, and salt. Stir well to blend.

In a small saucepan, warm the honey and oil over low heat, whisking occasionally – watch out! the oil will want to splash – until the honey is loose. Pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine well.

Spread the mixture evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden. Set a timer to go off halfway through the baking time, so that you can give the granola a good stir; this helps it to cook evenly. When it’s ready, remove the pan from the oven, stir well – this will keep it from cooling into a hard, solid sheet – and cool completely.

When cool, transfer the granola to a large bowl, storage jar, or zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the chocolate, and stir (or shake, if using a jar or bag) to mix.

Store in an airtight container.