homemade granola
It almost seems a bit silly typing up this recipe since it's so incredibly flexible, it's barely a recipe in a sense.  But, it is totally worth it hence me taking the time to share it with you and hence again, you should try this Granola.

I've kind of only periphery been a granola fan, I guess you could say.  It hasn't been my jam per se; no real reason to avoid it necessarily but it hasn't been a top o' list must-have in my life. 

I didn't grow up eating it.  I haven't ever poured out a bowl of granola and splashed in some milk, eating it like cereal for breakfast.  Jeez, let alone make homemade granola.

Too, most granolas have coconut in them and I'm coconut-averse, including coconut oil.  Just personally not a fan of the flavor.  Although, Salerno's Coconut Cookies?  Yeah, that's a whole other ball game.  Gimme a whole box a' those, "weak choice" or not.

Wow, searching Salerno took me down quite a rabbit hole, ha!  Unbeknownst to me, when I worked for Steppenwolf Theater, I was right near their old factory.  Huh.  Sadly, the Art Deco building has been demolished.

Well.  Ha.  Anyway. 


homemade granola in a jar
Right, as I was saying, most recipes contain coconut.  Not a fan.  So what originally drew me to this particular recipe was the no coconut, no coconut oil.  That and it used honey and lots of other things I do like a lot. 

Plus, quantity.  It makes a bunch:  nine cups!  I know we're just two people but I do like feeling stocked up.

From there, I realized right quick how unbelievably flexible the whole shebang is.  Just follow some basic bits but overall, swap things in and out to your liking.  It's the ultimate adaptable recipe, really.

Don't like nuts?  Nuts.  Leave 'em out then.  Or want other nuts?  Swap those in.

Don't like apple pie spice?  Use pumpkin pie spice.  Or toss in whatever you'd like.  Or, nothing at all.

Pretty much everything flavoring this Granola is optional and interchangeable.

I'm pushing this point hard because usually I make this for myself and spoon it over yogurt for breakfast, generally the only time I find myself reaching for Granola.  But, lately Mike has hit a Granola stride and inhaled my entire last batch.

Which he said was fantastic, so there's your extra vote of confidence.

Normally I'll add pepitas, change up the nuts depending on what's in my freezer (yes, don't forget to store your nuts in the freezer so they don't go rancid), punch up the spices, squirt in more vanilla, and leave the dried fruit out.

I love me some raisins but as I've gotten older, they no longer love me.  And while I do enjoy dried cranberries, it's mostly on salads with bleu cheese dressing.  Too, because I'm slower to get through the granola batch, I don't want the dried fruit to get moldy or turn into rocks.

Boy, learning a lot about my tastes today, we are.

Anywhooo... Mike brought home a bag of granola from the store (gaaaasp!) as I had a prolonged tight schedule unable to make any and he asked me to sort of replicate those flavors. 

Which wasn't hard because this recipe was already a good way there.  Which, brings us to this recipe!

I left out the pepitas, added more cinnamon, and sneakily tossed in some chia seeds for more nutrition.

Again, the nuts, flavors, whatever are user-friendly, dealer's choice; follow the recipe exactly for super delicious Granola or feel free to tweak it any way you see fit.

So effortless to make!

Grab a very large bowl* plus a smaller bowl and a sturdy large spatula* and let's make Granola.

ingredient prep
Toss the oats into the bowl along with the nuts, seeds, whatever dry bits and pieces you plan to use.

Next, in a small bowl or even a microwave-safe measuring cup,* throw the brown sugar, spices, and wet stuff in, mix it up, heat it up just to warm through.  No harm no foul if you add a bit more liquids too, like more maple syrup, more vanilla.  Just don't over-liquid.

mixing wet ingredients in a bowl
Pour the wet into the dry and with that big sturdy spatula, mix mix mix, stir stir stir until the dry is entirely coated.

pouring wet ingredients into dry
Before mixing

combined wet and dry granola ingredients in large bowl
After mixing
Spill the contents onto a lightly greased baking sheet,* the biggest that'll fit in your oven, spread everything out evenly and into the oven we go.
spreading granola mix on baking sheet
No need to line with foil or anything.  This pan is not cameo-worthy is all.
The hardest part of this recipe is sticking close by as you'll need to stir everything about every ten minutes or so.  If you only stir once or twice, no biggie, it will still be good.

When it's ready, it'll be lightly golden and smell divine.  I tend to go the longer end of the baking time suggested below for extra crunch and brown.

freshly baked homemade granola close up
When it's all cool, toss in your dried fruits and voilá, it is Granola time!  Make parfaits, sprinkle on ice cream, over yogurt, pack some for a work snack, what-have-you.  However you do Granola, you do you with your fancy pants batch of homemade.

adding raisins and dried cranberries to granola
Dump your leftovers into a nice sized airtight container* and dole out over time.  It keeps really well.

finished granola
If, like me, you go through it slow and are concerned about fuzzy or rock solid dried fruit, leave it out but then sprinkle some on when you go to serve it.
granola close up
So there we have it!  Granola!  Something healthy-leaning on my sugary baking blog, haha!  Now let's get back to searching what you really came here for, nummy desserts!

freshly made homemade granola in a jar

*The mixing bowls, large spatulas, measuring cups, baking sheets, and airtight containers are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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