Granola is DH’s lifeblood, well, so it seems in the morning when his cooked cereal is in his bowl. Sometimes even French Toast won’t tempt him away from his bowl o’ gruel, cut up fresh fruit, coconut flakes and GRANOLA!
Decades ago, I made it now and then, but it was always such a hassle, and I seemed to burn it more frequently than was actually useful, so I started buying it from the Help-Yourself bins in the grocery stores. It was good enough, but pretty plain. The one I got had a bit of maple flavoring and a few sliced almonds here and there. ICK! What a waste of effort to chew it.
Then one day, there seemed to be one of those engineered “shortages”, and when the product returned, the cost had been raised by about 200% to well over $4. a pound. “For oatmeal?” my inner brain screamed! Action must be taken.
The picture above is how it looks when it is basking merrily in a cast iron skillet, toasting to perfection, with a lot of loving stirring from me. This is a mixture of five different whole grains: oats, barley, wheat, triticale, and rye.
After these grains are deeply toasted to the “almost burnt” stage, I push them aside and add about a cupful of brown sesame seeds. They will crackle a bit as they toast. Next comes another cupful of sunflower seeds. They are already roasted, so they go in last.
At this point, I pour the whole thing into a 9 x 13 lasagna-type pan to allow room to stir on the coating of coconut oil, coconut sugar and maple syrup that has been boiled into the candy stage in a separate saucepan. You can use butter, brown sugar and whatever syrup you fancy, if unlike us, you are not on a coconut kick!
Pour the hot syrup over the mixture, stirring well while it is still warm, and then add in a half pound of pecans, either halved or bits, and stir again. When it has cooled a bit, add in dried cranberries and diced dates. We add the coconut shreds ad hoc to each morning’s bowl, but you can put it in now, if that is a preference.
When it is completely cool, bag it up and put all but about two cups of it into the freezer.
The finished product looks like this, and is so deee-licious! Upon tasting the wonderfulness of your own “home brew”, you will kick sand in the face of store-bought granola forever after.
Try it! It’s worth the effort. ;->