No stranger to granola am I, being a child of the 70’s. I remember the tv ad for Grape Nuts with Euell Gibbons telling America that, “Many parts of a pine tree are edible.” “Yuck!”, I thought. My Mom joined the health food revolution with Adelle Davis and her book, “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit”. We had hamburgers for protein at breakfast and I remember distinctly the walnut powder protein shakes. Not much better than Grape Nuts. Mom always did a great job of getting healthy whole food into 5 hungry bellies. We got to try French cuisine when Mom and Dad met some people from France and became friends. I remember souffle, quiche, and crepes making it to the table. Julia Child’s popularity probably boosted this phase of food exploration as well and Jackie, the lady from France. (my sister Suzanne was so starry-eyed for the French lady!)
Fast forward to the 80’s and you will find me making granola for my family. We did not like the Nature Valley granola that was the staple for tree-huggers who didn’t DIY. It was loaded with “bad” fats. It probably still is. Do they still make Nature Valley granola? I got my recipe from my Aunt Gayle. I wish I could find that tattered envelope that I scribbled the recipe on. I remember it had non-fat powdered milk in it.
Today the internet is bursting with granola recipes. They are as plentiful as pine trees in the UP that Euell Gibbons wanted us to taste. New age versions of granola are not likely to have non-fat powdered milk in them. And many of the “bad” fats are actually “good” fats, depending on who you talk to.
My recipe is big, filling my roaster pan to the top. I need a big recipe. My husband does not believe in following serving sizes like those listed on any packaged granola. A $7 box of Seven Sundays brand muesli is 2 servings to him. The box says 6. By the way, I don’t like muesli. It’s too dry and chewy and well, like eating a pine tree. I like crisp granola with chewy bits of dried fruit and clusters that form when the honey and maple syrup conspire to round up the oats, almonds and cashews all at once as offerings to my taste bud goddess.
In the largest bowl you have, mix the following:
20+- oz of old fashioned oats (about half of one of the big boxes)
2 cups raisins
1# chopped dried apricots
1/2# raw organic cashews- chopped fine
1/2# raw organic almonds- chopped fine
1/2# raw organic sunflower seeds
8 oz pkg sliced almonds
1 cup flax seeds- finely ground in my blender
14 oz pkg sweetened coconut flakes
8 oz organic coconut palm sugar (you can sub. br sugar)
1 1/2 cups of organic coconut oil- melt after measuring
1 cup organic raw honey
1 cup real maple syrup
1 T vanilla
1 T cinnamon
2 t nutmeg
2 t salt
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly coated. Bake in a 225º oven for 1 hour. Stir/toss every 15 minutes during baking. When the granola is cool, break into edible sized chunks and store at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.
I know there are a million variations. Mom plans on adding chia seeds to her batch. Julie adds soy lecithin. You could add wheat groats or rye flakes etc. if you don’t have issues with gluten. I used organic ingredients as mush as possible. There is about 17 cups of dry ingredients to 3 +- cups of liquid. That’s about a 6:1 ratio of dry to wet. (I love recipes with “about” used frequently). Adjust to your tastes. You may like it kinda dry and chewy like a pine tree.
My batch d’jour is about to come out of the oven. The house smells great, all cinnamon-y. I love to eat my homemade granola while it’s still warm with organic whole milk. Delish!