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Great Granola From Your Pantry

Recently a friend started making her own granola and recommended that I give it a try. Taking her advice I did some research and found that there are as many ways to make granola as there are people who enjoy it. Some recipes used so many different types of nuts, fruits and sweeteners that the result seemed a jumble of flavors. Others recommended using bold spices such as candied ginger that may not be well suited for everyday breakfasts. These weren’t the easy, healthy and adaptable granola I was hoping to make.

Rather than offer one set recipe, I thought it would be better to share a master recipe that can be easily adapted to your tastes and whatever ingredients are in the pantry. Please experiment and post your favorite variations in the comments!

Granola with Walnuts, Almonds, Flax and Cranberries

Master recipe prepared with walnuts, almonds and cranberries

Master Granola Recipe

3 c old fashioned rolled oats to act as the base
1 c unsalted nuts, chopped
½ c unsalted seeds or nuts (not the same nuts!) chopped – for variety
½ c texture component – flax meal or unsweetened coconut or wheat germ
½ t cinnamon
½ t dried spice of a second type – nutmeg or cardamom or additional cinnamon
½ c olive or canola oil
¼ c maple syrup – to sweeten and add depth of flavor
3 T honey – to sweeten and bind
1 t vanilla extract
2/3 c dried fruit – for color and texture

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients (except dried fruit) in large bowl and stir to combine.

Combine oil, maple syrup and honey in small sauce pan. Cook on medium until just beginning to bubble. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour syrup onto dry ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.

Pour granola mixture onto large sheet pan, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until golden brown. Stir every 5-7 minutes to ensure even browning.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Stir in dried fruit. Allow granola to cool completely and store in air tight container.

Recipe as pictured includes: walnuts, almonds, flax meal, cardamom and cranberries.

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