For more recipes, visit jfp.ms/food and mmgood.com. Photo courtesy Flickr/averagejane
While store-bought granola can have many added sugars, homemade granola can be much healthier for you, with nuts, grains and dried fruits—all good stuff. The ingredients contain nutrients such as protein, so you it's a great start to a healthy day. When you make it yourself, you know exactly what you're putting in it, so you're not in for any surprises. Granola is a great breakfast or brunch item to fix up, and you can prepackage it so when you have a morning where you just have to get up and go, you can grab a bag of granola and be on your way. And, of course, it's easy to fix for a brunch. You can make it and then leave it alone. It practically serves itself.
This recipe can be made several days prior to serving. Having granola on the table takes so much pressure off you as a host as all you have to do is place it in a bowl and serve it with store-bought yogurt or milk. You can even have your guests make their own parfaits by having cut up seasonal fruit. My recipe has a medley of nuts and dried cranberries; if you change the types of nut, I would recommend keeping the same quantities.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup almonds, sliced
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger, powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup cranberries, dried
1/2 cup coconut, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger and salt. Toss lightly. Place the brown sugar, honey and oil in a 1-1/2-quart saucepan, and cook over medium heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Immediately pour the brown-sugar mixture into the bowl of oats and nuts and toss to coat the oats with the brown-sugar mixture.
Place the oats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and toss the granola. Do not skip tossing every 10 minutes as this step ensures the granola is cooking evenly. Place the granola back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes; then remove, add the coconut and toss again. Place it back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. The granola should be done at this point. You are looking for the oats to have a golden color and to no longer be moist.
Remove the granola from the oven and place the dried cranberries on top. Once it has cooled completely, place in a container to enjoy at another time.