I love granola. I love it plain, on ice cream, in yogurt, mixed with hot oatmeal. You name it, I’ll take it. I made the plunge into homemade granola by accident. I meant to make ‘thick and chewy granola bars,’ but ended up with delicious granola. Not that I’m complaining, this is the best granola I’ve accidentally ever made. It’s versatile, sweet, tangy, crunchy and natural. I’ve tried to make granola bars multiple times and always end up with just granola. Oh well, let the experiment continue!
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 cups rolled oats , divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 generous tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 to 3 cups dried fruits and nuts*
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 T. melted butter
1/4 cup honey, plus 2 T. honey
1 T. water
Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, allowing it to go up the opposing sides. Lightly grease the parchment paper and the exposed pan with butter or nonstick spray.
1. Process 1/3 cup rolled oats in food processor until completely fine. If needed, process almonds to chop them up a little bit.
2. Stir together all the dry ingredients, including the fruit and nuts.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, melted butter, honey and water.
4. Toss the wet ingredients with the dry until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Spread in the prepared pan, pressing them in firmly to ensure they are molded to the shape of the pan.
5. Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges — don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan but do not worry, they’ll set completely once completely cool.
6. Cool the “bars” in their pan completely on a cooling rack. You could also lift the “bars” out of the pan and place on cooling rack. Once cool, use a serrated knife to break up the “bars” into granola and store in a ziploc bag or tupperware. Serve with yogurt, oatmeal, plain or ice cream!
*My combo included: 2 cups dried mix berry mix. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup almonds chopped, 1 cup pecans. The options are endless: apricots, chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts, wheat germ, etc. etc. you get the point! Be creative! Let the food suit your mood.
**ALSO: in step three you can add 1/3 cup peanut butter