Fun fact about me: I eat granola almost every day.
I sprinkle it over yogurt and fruit for a breakfast parfait. I grab a handful for an afternoon snack. I treat it as a breakfast cereal with milk and frozen blueberries for a cool, refreshing start to the day.
Despite how easy granola is to make, I usually buy mine at the store (or at the farmer’s market). The few times I’ve made granola it’s clearly better than the store-bought stuff: the nuts have that freshly toasted flavor, the granola itself is ultra crunchy, and I get control over the sweetener.
So when reader Ann Stanton sent me her favorite breakfast granola recipe, I knew I had to up my granola game. Take this column as a recipe for yourself and a pledge on my behalf to make more homemade weekly staples.
The recipe was first shared by Ann’s sister, although Ann has adapted it to her taste over the years. So feel free to give your own twist to the following recipe. That’s the magic (and adaptability) of granola.
Drowned in whole milk next to a mug of 4 shots of Blue Star decaffeinated espresso, black or with cream, this granola never gets old, Ann wrote.
A woman to my heart.
5 1/2 cups regular or slow-cooking oatmeal (not instant)*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons molasses, dark or light
1/2 cup canola oil
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cups chopped pecans, almonds, and/or walnuts (a mix of all three is best)
1 1/3 cups dried fruit (raisins, apricots, cranberries, chopped dates)
Optional additions: coconut, linseed
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, then lower it to 275 degrees
Stir liquid ingredients (honey, oil, vanilla, and sugar) together in a large bowl. Stir in dry ingredients EXCEPT fruit. Spread the mixture on two baking sheets. Bake at 325° for about ten or fifteen minutes, then another fifteen minutes at 275°, stirring every 5-10 minutes.
Be careful it doesn’t scorch. Everything should turn light brown. It will still be soft to the touch when you take it out of the oven, but it will become crispy as it cools. After it has cooled slightly, stir in the dried fruit. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator to prevent it from clumping.
This is delicious with cold milk on top, such as breakfast cereals, or just as a snack.
*Also called old fashioned oats (NOT steel cut)