Monday, February 14, 2011

Homemade Granola

I have forever been on the hunt for a homemade granola that I love.  Adore, actually.  I've made several versions, but none have created the "head over heels" love feeling that I was striving for.

Until now.  Who knew that using a certain kind of oats makes all the difference in the texture of granola!  I know why I wasn't loving my other versions!  This is crunchy, without being clumpy.

This granola is the kind you can totally feel good about eating, too.  No syrup.  No corn syrup.  No sugar.  Just natural honey and spices.  I love how easily adaptable this is--I used raisins and golden raisins, but absolutely use whatever variety of dried fruit you love the best!

Homemade Granola
Generously adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from America's Test Kitchen

1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup pecans, chopped coarse
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats*
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup each raisins and golden raisins (or dried cranberries, cherries, whatever!)

*Note - Do not substitute quick-cooking or instant rolled oats in this recipe, or the granola will taste sandy rather than crunchy.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Toast the almonds and walnuts in a 12‑inch skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and beginning to darken, about 3 minutes. Stir in the oats and oil and continue to toast until the oats begin to turn golden, about 2 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in the honey, flaxseeds, and salt until well coated. Spread the granola evenly over a large rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake, stirring every few minutes, until the granola is light golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the raisins. With a spatula, push the granola onto one half of the baking sheet and press gently into a 1/2‑inch-thick slab. Let the granola cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Loosen the dried granola with a spatula, break into small clusters, and serve.  The granola can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Happy Valentine's Day!  Click HERE to see how you can give the gift of love to a little girl who desperately needs it.

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