Making granola is simple, simple, simple. And as I think about it now, I cannot fathom why it is that I haven’t done it in years.
I got it into my head to start again when Sarah told me the other day — offhandedly — that I really shouldn’t buy the pre-packaged granola. That when she opened the last container I had brought home from the grocery, it was all damp and stale.
It wasn’t pre-packaged, I told her. I had gotten it out of the bulk bin. Like always.
And it was about then that it hit me. Granola baked just sometime in the vague past, without a manufacture date or a sell-by date, is kind of gross. And moreover — and not that I didn’t know this before — it’s stupid expensive. Wouldn’t it be better if I took less than an hour out of my day and just made my own?
So I did a little bit of research (mostly reading the ingredients in the bulk versions), and I picked my friend Linda’s brain (she’s a master granola-smith), and I went to town.
Less than an hour turns out to be about 35 minutes, start to finish. And the result turns out to be not just fresher than the store-bought, but vastly, shockingly better tasting. Try it. You’ll see.
4 cups Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Whole Almonds
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 cup Wheat Germ
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Honey
1 tbsp Water
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Cardamom
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
Preheat your oven to 375F. To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients: the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, wheat germ, spices, and salt. Mix.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and honey together. Remove from the burner, and add the vanilla. Mix well, and pour over the dry ingredients. Then rinse the pan with about a tablespoon of water, and pour that over the dry ingredients too.
Mix the wet and dry together thoroughly. Then spread the raw granola out on a jelly roll pan, and bake for about a half hour, turning the granola with a spatula after 10 minutes, and then again after 20.
Allow the granola to cool thoroughly, then store in an air-tight container.