I love granola. I could eat it all day. I have eaten it all day, every time I make it. I like it plain, I like it mixed into vanilla yogurt, I like it with milk, I like it sprinkled on peanut butter and banana.
But what I don’t like are most granola recipes. For one thing, I’m not crazy about honey, and they all seem to use honey. For another, I don’t like dried fruit, and a lot of recipes use that as well. Basically, I like a sweet, crunchy granola that’s mostly oats and coconut with some nuts. So over the years I’ve developed my own recipe. It’s not healthy. It’s a calorie bomb. But it’s so worth it.
A few key things: 1) You have to use rolled oats. These are the old-fashioned, not quick-cooking kind of oats. 2) You have to resist the urge to overcook the granola. It will not be totally crunchy when you take it out of the oven, but it will get completely crunchy as it cools. 3) If you substitute honey, reduce the oil, add dried fruit, or do anything else to make this recipe healthier, I don’t want to hear about it. :-)
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a couple of rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper (I use these reusable sheets – they can be cut to the size of your pans!)
- Put all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, making sure to break up any lumps of sugar
- Heat the maple syrup, vegetable oil, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thin (only takes a couple of minutes)
- Add syrup mixture to oat mixture and mix well until all of the oat mixture is moist
- Spread mixture onto the cookie sheets and put in oven
- After fifteen minutes, carefully stir granola and switch the pans to the opposite oven racks, so that the one that was on the top is on the bottom and vice versa
- Bake for another fifteen minutes, for a total of thirty minutes. Granola should be starting to brown.
- Remove granola from oven and put cookie sheets on cooling racks, stirring every ten minutes or so while the granola cools
- Once the granola is completely cool, store in an airtight container; keeps for about a week