It’s time to say goodbye to wintery bowls of steamy hot oatmeal. The time has arrived for it’s lighter, more playful cousin to take the breakfast stage. For many years now, I’ve thought that granola was a gimmick food. How could something be considered so healthy, and good for you when it’s laden with sugar, additives and preservatives? I’ve tried every brand out there – and still, no love. In fact, I’m usually left with a somewhat unhealthy feeling. Similar to that feeling you get when half a box of Sour Patch Kids are devoured at the cinema, even before the previews are through. Really happy, then really tired. Since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, I was beginning to feel rather left out.
All of this changed the day I made my first batch of homemade granola. Nutty, hearty, sweet (but not overly sweet), tangy and filled with nutrition. Fully customizable to fit your heart’s desire. Everything comes together in one big bowl. Then laid to bake on one big sheet pan. This recipe could not be easier and the results could not be more amazing. If I ever run my own B&B, this would be part of the breakfast menu. I love buying all the dry ingredients in the bulk section of the market – you can buy as much or as little as you need, plus it’s much more economical and less wasteful (no packaging). Serve with plain yogurt and fresh fruit, or just milk.
BEST HOMEMADE GRANOLA
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, yields 7-8 cups
Now that you have a delicious batch of homemade granola, go try out some homemade granola bars!
Music Pairing: Chiquitita, ABBA (come on, just admit it, you know you love ABBA)
- 4 cups organic rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 2 tbsp flax seeds
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup veggie or olive oil (or 1/3 cup applesauce)
- 1/3 cup good honey
- 1/3 cup apple juice or apple cider
- 1 cup dried cranberries, or favorite dried chopped fruit
Heat oven to 350º. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, nuts, flax seeds, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk the oil, honey, and apple juice in measuring cup.
Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Spread onto a large sheet pan. Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even golden brown, around 30-40 minutes, depending on oven.
Remove granola from the oven and allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally. Add cranberries. Store cooled granola in an airtight container.