Oats are one of those foods that feel like part of my heritage. They remind me of mornings before skiing as a child, when my dad would cook them up with extra butter and brown sugar. I think of Scandinavia and my ancestors making oat breads and buns. They grow well here in Montana, and since I can’t eat wheat, it’s a local grain I can enjoy.
Given this connection to oats—I sound like a horse, but anyways—given this connection, nailing down a granola recipe has been on my to-do list for years now. Not exaggerating. You’d think making granola would be a fairly simple endeavor. Bake oats. Done. Yet for some reason, I kept messing it up. I filled the house with smoke the first couple attempts. Oats turn out to be fickle roasting subjects, looking golden in one moment and black the next.
The other complication involved oil. I tried to use coconut oil, but the granola went bad within a few days. The same thing happened when I used coconut oil in a cookie recipe last Christmas. The cookies tasted rotten after a couple days in the jar. (I know—we didn’t eat all the cookies in one day! Crazy.)
What I’ve come up with below is a basic recipe for granola goodness after the trial and error process.
I added nut butter, chopped nuts, and seeds to the oats to help beef ‘em up. I also added coconut shreds, lightly toasted, and dried cherries. You could add any dried fruit, really: maybe some chopped banana chips or the classic raisin. With a little vanilla, cinnamon, and maple syrup, the granola smells like cookies when it’s baking.
For those of us who like to start the day with something sweet, (but more wholesome than sugar and butter), these oats, baked with a careful eye, give an ancient grain the flavor-perks of a modern kitchen.
What You’ll Need
6 C Oats
1 C Chopped pecans (or other nut of your choosing)
3 T Flax seeds
3 T Chia seeds
1 t Cinnamon
1/4 t Salt
1 C Almond butter
1 1/2 C Canola oil
1/2 C Maple syrup
1 t Vanilla
1 C Dried coconut
1 C Cherries (or other dried fruit)
What You’ll Do
Preheat oven to 375
1. Place oats in a large bowl.
2. Chop pecans. Add pecans and seeds to oats, along with salt and cinnamon.
3. In a small pot, add oil, syrup, almond butter, and vanilla.Whisk on medium heat until all the wet ingredients are blended together.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
Spread out the mixture on two large baking sheets (no need to grease)
Set the timer for seven minutes and stir when it goes off
- If the mixture is bubbling, don’t freak out. Everything is going swimmingly.
Set the timer again for seven minutes and stir again. Make sure to get the edges mixed in, as these will burn the quickest. If you want your coconut shreds lightly toasted, add them now to the mixture.
Set the timer again for seven minutes and stir, and then set it for three minutes.
Repeat on two-three minute intervals, as those oats be fickle! Take out the sheets when the oats are golden. Let the granola cool for one-two hours and then stir in dried fruit.
You now basically have little cookie crumbles for breakfast. Store in a glass jar and enjoy!