I have now been making this granola, in one slight variation or another, for about a year now. Every time I make it, I have a few friends and family members that I check in with because I know they are going to want some. In fact, I almost always have to make two or three batches at once to go around - and then it goes fast.
I hadn't ever made homemade granola, but when the idea got lodged in my head, I couldn't let it go. I've never been a big fan of granolas because premade versions almost always had some kind of dried fruit in it or another - and I really just don't like dried fruit. I've tried. It's just not my thing. That's why homemade is so much better for me. I decide what goes in... and especially what doesn't. So, when I make this, I make what I like to refer to as a 'nekkid' version using my general formula.
So, I'll give you my formula to play with - then I'll include my most usual version below.
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats - preferably thick cut
1 cup raw nuts, your choice of any mixture
1/2 cup shredded or flake coconut
3 tablespoons extra addition - such as untoasted wheat germ, high fiber cereal or flax seed or a combination
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons sweetener - one or a combination - such as light brown sugar and honey
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (and/or other spices)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
Other Mix-Ins for after the baking:
chocolate chips, raisins, other dried fruits, etc.
Homemade Almond Granola
Stir together in a large bowl:
3 cups thick-cut old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup raw pecans, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons untoasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon high fiber cereal
Combine in a small microwavable bowl, heat gently and pour over dry ingredients in large bowl and stir well:
6 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray, coating it well. Spread granola mixture in a layer over the entire sheet. Bake in the oven 15 minutes, then stir with a spatula. Bake 15 to 20 minutes more until light golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Stir a few times while cooling to break up the pieces - if you want it chunkier, don't stir it too much while cooling. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 5 cups.
Tip: If you double the recipe, still only bake this size recipe per baking sheet and one at a time. It is a bit time consuming, but the mixed granola can sit in the bowl while waiting to bake the next pan. If you decide to bake it all at once, you will end up having to split the granola onto as many pans as the amount of batches you make, then stir more, rotate pans and it will still take a good 15 to 20 minutes longer. In other words, it's simpler to just set the timer and bake one at a time. If you put more than one pan in, because of the different levels of the racks in the oven, you run the risk of burning the granola.