easy-breezy granola at home

Who knew granola could be so easy to make? So versatile? So delicious that it will make your head spin and sparks fly from your ears? Well, if you were a cartoon it would.

I was eating my bananas and yogurt and wished I had some crunchy granola to top it off. That would have made it my favorite breakfast ever. (oh wait, or was sticky buns my favorite breakfast ever? Or baked peach french toast? Or apple nut muffins?Well, never mind about that) Fruit, yogurt, granola. The sum is far greater than the parts, I kid you not. I usually use Trader Joes maple-pecan granola when I have it. But I didn’t.  I have had a hankering in the past to make granola and here was the perfect opportunity. Especially since I almost always have lots of oats. (Dave loves to buy bulk)

This was easy. I took some old-fashioned rolled oats, about 2 cups. (or did I use 3, hmm)  To that I added 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut.

Next I chopped up about a cup of chopped pecans. But you could use walnuts, almonds, whatever? See how versatile this is?

Added maybe 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds.

A handful of pepitas were next. I also added some chopped dried cherries, but I do not recommend adding them until after the baking. They came out a little too tough.

These all went together in a bowl. Now for the wet stuff.

1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, 1/4 cup brown sugar a few shakes of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla. Mixed these all up in a bowl.

Now add them to the dry stuff and mix well. Lay out on a tray, I used parchment paper. Put in a 300 degree oven and every 15 minutes I would take 2 spatulas and gently mix them up. They are done in an hour. Some recipes say 30 minutes, but I wanted mine a little browner.

Once its out of the oven,  you add your dried fruit of choice. I had dried cherries and Craisins. But you could add apricots, raisins, chopped dates, etc. I can’t stop eating it. Right from the bag! Nibble, nibble, nibble…

This batch turned out on the dry crunchy side, which I thought was fine. Some recipes call for more liquids. One called for 3 cups of oats, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup nuts and then used 1/2 cup of oil, maple syrup and brown sugar. I even saw a recipe that used pomegranate juice! I imagine the more liquids you use, the more it comes out sticky like caramel corn or in bigger chunks. I might try something a little different next time, just for fun. But I will never go back to buying it premade. This is just too dang easy!

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