This simple, delicious granola recipe is a family favorite, and one that older grandchildren request in their “care” packages when they are away from home. The perfect comfort food, this recipe is versatile enough that you can substitute almost any healthy addition, and it stores for several weeks in an airtight container. We keep a supply in the pantry to eat for breakfast with a little milk splashed in with it. It also makes the perfect topping for a breakfast parfait. Add a few extra ingredients to make your own homemade granola bars for your next backpacking trip.
While the original recipe calls for twice as much oil, I find that I can substitute applesauce or water and get terrific results. I feel a little bit better keeping the fat content lower, as this is a high-calorie snack already. Because this is an incredibly “forgiving” recipe, I leave out any of the seeds I don’t happen to have in the pantry. This recipe is also delicious with a few pecans or slivered almonds tossed in.
10 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (roasted or honey roasted sunflower seeds work just fine, but you can purchase raw sunflower seeds at any health food store).
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. flax seed
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil (canola oil recommended)
1/2 cup water
1 1/3 cup honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 cup Craisins™ or other dried fruit
optional: 1 cup chopped nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, or a combination)
In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, whole wheat flour, powdered milk, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. In a medium saucepan, heat oil, water and honey until just warm. Stir in vanilla, and pour over dry ingredients. Wash your hands well and then mix all ingredients together with your hands. Spread onto 2 large cookie sheets and bake at 300 degrees for about 15 min or until top of granola begins to brown slightly. Take pan out of oven, turn over granola with a spatula and return to oven for another 15 min, or until top is toasted and golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool, then add dried fruit and nuts, and stir all ingredients together. If needed, break up any granola clusters that are too large. Makes about 15-20 cups of granola, depending on how many mix-ins you add. Store in a tightly-covered container for up to 3 weeks.
When your pan of granola is all baked with dried fruit sprinkled on top, it will look something like this: