I've been wanting to make my own granola for quite some time now. So you can imagine that I was really excited when I came across this incredibly easy and versatile recipe at Everybody Likes Sandwiches. It does take longer than I'd like to make since I chop up all the fruit and nuts, but it's definitely worth it.
I use apple juice instead of oil so I assume that's why the granola doesn't turn out hard/crispy at all, which is how I would prefer it but I don't want to add oil. At first I tried eating just a bowl of this granola with milk (as I would cereal) but it was so soft and soggy. Then I started doing half box cereal (Vector or Special K usually) and half this granola, with an extra sprinkling of almonds, and I really love it. I also love knowing that without even trying, I'm eating lots of things that are good for me every morning!
I extremely adore this jar for keeping my granola in. Originally it was purchased for cookies but I think the granola has now staked its claim on the life of the jar. (It's from Ikea.)
On top of the oats, flax and wheat germ in the granola, I like to have a real mix of seeds, nuts and dried fruit so I've been doing:
1 cup of seeds (half sunflower, half pumpkin)
1 cup of nuts (half almonds, half walnuts)
1 cup of dried fruit (mix of raisins, apricots and apples, though I'd really like to add blueberries, pears and figs - if only the dried blueberries I've seen weren't packaged using some oil!)
No Fail Granola
slightly adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches
4 c rolled oats
3/4 c wheat germ
1/4 c flax seeds
Plus 3 cups of any of the following suited to your tastes:
Nuts* (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc)
Seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, etc)
Dried fruit* (raisins, apricots, apples, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, pears, peaches, coconut, figs, etc)
Mix all of your grains and nuts together and add some spice:
1 T cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground ginger
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t ground cardamom
In a large measuring cup, mix together the following:
1/3 c + 2 T apple or pear juice, ideally the cloudy kind
1/3 c sweetener (honey, brown sugar, molasses, or maple syrup)
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix well with a wooden spoon until everything is well coated.
Pour onto a cookie sheet or large rectangular pan and bake in a 300 degree oven. Stirring every 20 minutes or so for about 45 minutes until mostly dry. Remove and cool. Store in a tight lidded container.
*I always chop up the fruit and nuts into raisin size pieces. Obviously I do not cut up the raisins!
Note: Next time I might try baking everything without the dried fruit to make sure it gets all nice and toasty (and adding the fruit in after).