Everything That’s Good Granola

It’s cloudy, rainy and cold down here in south Texas.  We haven’t turned our heater on yet and I don’t want to.  So, when we wake up and it is 66* in the house it means it’s a baking day. When all the yummy baking is complete the oven stays open just to warm the house up a little bit more.

Almost out of granola, it was a homemade granola day.  First things first and we made a trip to Sprouts to pick up all the yummy ingredients.  I love the bulk food section, I can get whatever I want and as much or as little as I want.  Looking at all the wonderful items I get new ideas of what to put in my granola.  I’ve thought of putting in Banana Chips, but as much as I like bananas I feel like they are the highway robbers of the flavors … a little goes a long way because they tend to take over masking all other flavors.  One day I may try it.  Today I found hazelnuts (my favorite of all nuts, I just love the warm flavor, I’ll eat hazelnut anything), macadamia nuts, cashews, chia, sunflower seeds, pepitas, coconut and oat bran.

A word about Oat Bran.  We’ve found that the tummies in our family are much happier without gluten.  We are not died in the wool gluten free fanatics.  I don’t check labels. We’ve only cut out all visible gluten.  Thus I substitute the Oat Bran for the Wheat Bran.

That is the beauty of this recipe you can make it however you want put in your favorite foods and leave out the ones you don’t like.

This is the recipe I use … kind of.  I follow the recipe for the liquid part that is cooked on the stove nearly.  Today I didn’t have any molasses so I put honey in its place.  I just realized I forgot to add the brown sugar.  Oh, well!  It’s a forgiving recipe.  I also didn’t read the recipe well and thought I knew that I would need 1 1/2 cups of honey and only after it was added did I realize my mistake.  I don’t measure the vanilla, I dump it in.

I’ve noticed that there seems to be extra liquid so I’ve started adding 12 cups of oatmeal, 2 extra cups.  While the dry ingredients call for 8 cups of “yummies” added to the oatmeal, I never measure and probably add more like 11 or 12 cups of yummies.  Like I said it is a forgiving recipe and very adaptable.

I usually add slivered almonds and pecans with cashews.  Today I found the hazelnuts and macadamia nuts so I swapped them out, but all of those would be good together.  After baking, when the granola is nice and warm I add a handful of Craisins.  Don’t bake the granola with the Craisins, they don’t do well baking, but are great warmed up with the granola.

So … here’s what I did today.

Everything that's Good Granola

Get a big bowl and I mean BIG!!!  I put in 12 cups (I used rounded cups and am not even close to precise) then I put in the Oat Bran.  Mix this up otherwise when you put the liquid in it will clump up.

Everything that's Good GranolaI like my nuts bite sized so I pulled out my mortar and pestle.  I’ve used the rolling pin and baggies, but I always end up with holes or the zip blows out.  It was the first time I tried this and it worked well.

Everything that's Good GranolaI Love Hazelnuts or Filberts, but only put a few in at a time to break them in half, too many and you miss smashing some of those beauties up.

Everything that's Good GranolaLast were the Macadamia Nuts.  They were a little pricey, but every once in a while it is a special treat in my granola.

Everything that's Good GranolaI also found Pepitas, Pumpkin Seeds, at the store so I put a bunch of those in, too.  As well as the sunflower seeds.

Everything that's Good GranolaI don’t know if it is because it’s cold, that wouldn’t make sense, or what, but when I cook my liquid it gets a little foamy and floaty looking like this.  It didn’t always look like this, but it tastes just the same.  Don’t boil it.  I did that once and discovered that’s how the granola gets crispy. We like it soft and chewy.

Everything that's Good GranolaAll mixed up.  Look how delicious that all looks!

Everything that's Good GranolaI poured the liquid in and got started mixing.

Everything that's Good GranolaAll mixed up and yummy!  I started to put it on the pan and realized that I forgot the coconut.  I NEVER leave out the delicious coconut.  I love the ribbon coconut, but it isn’t easily found down here.

Everything that's Good GranolaI make lots of granola and only have two cookie sheets, so I have to bake 1/4 of the granola on each sheet, bake it and then reuse the pans and bake the other 1/2 on the two pans again.  My house is getting warmer now.  🙂

Everything that's Good GranolaI finally got a double oven.  I guess it’s time to invest in two more cookie sheets so I can bake it all at once instead of in shifts.  Doesn’t that look delicious?

Everything that's Good GranolaStraight out of the oven, just a little crispy and the house is smelling delicious!  Time to add the Craisins and mix it up.  Let it all sit together until it cools.Everything that's Good GranolaJust to make it easier to put in my container I move it to another bowl.  Once all the granola is baked, cooled and put in the bowl then I put it in the container I store it in.

Everything that's Good GranolaMy friend gave me this great container.  It is one of those great big containers that Protein Powder comes in.  I like to make enough granola to fill this thing up to the top so it lasts a while and I don’t have to make it again for a while.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like making it, I have plenty of other things to do without having to make granola every few weeks. Since it’s so delicious, because you tailored this recipe to include your favorite ingredients, it won’t last long if you don’t make a HUGE batch.

Everything that's Good Granola

Yay!  It makes my heart happy to see a full container sitting back in the pantry where it belongs.

Everything That’s Good Granola

10 cups oats
1 cup wheat germ
½ lb coconut
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
3 cups pecans, almonds etc

Combine all below items and heat until sugar is dissolved but do not boil
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups oil
½ cup honey
½ cup molasses

Pour over dry ingredients.  Mix and stir until coated.  Spread on 5-13X9 pans.  Bake 350 for 20-30 minutes.   Store in airtight container for up to 6 months. 

I know it says it lasts for 6 months, but if your family is anything like my family … two months tops!