Spring is coming... Spring is coming... Spring is coming! Or at least it feels like it when you're eating one of these. I had a couple of house guests over the weekend so I thought I'd make a little something special for breakfast. Light and easy, but oh so tasty.
makes about 8 cups
6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 cups mixed nuts and seeds
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
dash of salt
1/2 to 1 cup honey or maple syrup, or to taste
1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, the coconut if you're using it, cinnamon, salt and sweetener. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. The mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
Remove the pan from the oven and add the raisins. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until the granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.
This is another one of those recipes that you can add just about anything you want. For the nuts, I used about equal amounts of almonds, hazelnuts,walnuts and pecans. It's just what I had in the house. I chopped them all roughly in my food processor before adding them to the oat mixture.
I used light maple syrup as the sweetener and used about a cup. I didn't end up using any dried fruit because I was using fresh fruit in the parfaits, but I'll probably add Craisens or dried apricots next time I make it and then eat it as a snack or with vanilla yogurt.
I added a few more spices: ground cloves and nutmeg, about a 1/2 teaspoon each and also a teaspoon of vanilla.
For the parfaits, I just layered the granola with strawberry yogurt and fresh blackberries and blueberries in a glass. It was a fun presentation and a nice little treat for my guests, if I do say so myself. :)