Friday, September 14, 2012

Homemade Granola with Nuts and Dried Fruit

When my parents come to visit, it means we’re going to cook and eat…A LOT. Among the many things we cooked that week, we made a batch of homemade granola with toasted nuts and dried fruit. For breakfast every morning, my husband and I eat yogurt topped with fresh fruit and granola, so it was nice to create a batch of granola with the combination of flavors that we love. 

Mom & Larry making granola.

Whisk syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and oil.
Fold in oats until coated.
Spread mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Press down until mixture is compact and then it is ready to bake.
Serve over yogurt and fresh fruit.
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried cherries  

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk syrup or nectar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk in oil. Fold in oats and nuts until well coated.

Spread a thin layer of the mixture to the baking sheet. Press mixture down until compact. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown. Rotate rack half way through.

Remove from oven and let cool completely for about 1 hour. Break granola into desired pieces. Stir in dried fruit. Store into an airtight container.

Try these variations to create your perfect flavor combination:
·         Add dried apples
·         Add shredded coconut
·         Add 2 Tbsp orange zest
·         Add dried mango or pineapple for a tropical flare
·         Try a variety of nuts like hazelnuts or macadamias

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