I tried making granola last year, but the whole experience was a disaster. It wasn't the recipe's fault, of course. It was mine. I baked the dried fruits in with the oats and nuts, and the whole thing emerged from the oven a lumpy, chewy mess. Chewy can be good, but not the kind of chewy I'm talking about.
I was put off homemade granola for awhile after that, but I knew I'd get around to it again someday. I kept the idea in the back of my mind, and bookmarked any recipe I saw that looked good. After awhile, I noticed that most of the recipes were similar, so I took ideas from all of them to make a granola that I knew I'd like.
That's the thing I like most about making homemade granola - you can experiment with flavors by swapping in your favorite dried fruits, nuts, and natural sweeteners. So good!
For this round, I used:
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried dates, diced
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, mix together the old-fashioned rolled oats, coconut, and almond slices. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the oil and honey. Pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until all of the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Pour into a large (I used 13" x 18"x 2") baking dish and spread evenly.
Place the baking dish into the oven, on the middle rack, stirring every five-ten minutes until the mixture is golden brown. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Once cool, add the dried fruits and stir. Store in an airtight container.
Next time I make this, I'll use tips from this recipe, such as using honey + brown sugar, and cinnamon. I might even experiment around with walnuts and molasses. Yum!
What's your favorite way to make homemade granola?