You will always find home-made granola in our house. It’s my son’s favorite breakfast, snack and/or dinner, depending on the mood and on whether he has it with milk, yogurt or just on its own. I have tried several wonderful recipes, but this one, based on America’s Test Kitchen’s granola recipe, is the one I’ve settled for because it is uncomplicated and delicious. I use less sugar than the original recipe calls for, and I don’t usually add the dried fruit, but that’s one of the advantages of this recipe, you can change it up using what you have in your pantry and, no matter what mix of nuts or dried fruit you add, it’s always good. Just make sure you use real maple syrup and real vanilla extract, and you can’t go wrong.
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups nuts (I usually do one cup each of sliced almonds and chopped walnuts)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups dried fruit (raisins, chopped dried apricots, dried cherries, etc), optional
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the oats and nuts; in a medium bowl whisk together the oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt until combined and emulsified. Pour wet mix into oats and nuts mix and fold until oats are fully coated. Transfer to prepared baking sheet spreading evenly, then press down with a spatula until well compacted. Bake for 40 minutes rotating pan once at 20 minutes to allow for even cooking. Remove granola from oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least one hour. Once cooled, break granola into pieces, add the dried fruit (if using), and store in an air-tight container.