Classically trained chefs can teach you to make countless masterpieces. For example, a silken hollandaise, a skillfully seared lamb chop, or a delicate dacquoise.
But they cannot guide you in the making of a perfect granola.
Granola is an American invention, and is better off made with the old-fashioned American ingenuity of the home cook.
In my early years of graduate school, I counted myself among those granola makers who had tried and failed. It seemed like such an easy task, but my renditions were always too sticky, too sweet, too fattening, too oily, too bland, and, too often, scorched. But still, I harbored hopes that one day I might create a paragon of granola in my own oven.
I persevered. My attempts were usually edible, and often delicious (especially the ones with butter), but they were never quite right. I wanted a lot from my granola–great taste, great nutrition, the right texture, and still quick and easy to make.
By jove, I think I’ve done it. And I am so happy to share the recipe with all of you!
Healthy fats from coconut oil (not too much, but enough to get a crispy-crunch), nuts, and seeds, chewy (not scorched) fruit (do not add it until after baking), and not too sweet, yet still sweet enough to convince Nick that he is snacking on crumbled oatmeal cookies (do not stir while baking–that way, you will get nice big clumps/clusters of granola).
The variations are endless and the results are far healthier and delicious, as well as much less expensive, than good-quality packaged granola. Yum!
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1-1/4 cups assorted chopped nuts and seeds
- ¾ cup unsweetened large coconut flakes
- ⅔ cup pure maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
- ⅓ cup virgin coconut oil
- ¼ cup natural cane sugar (or maple sugar or coconut sugar)
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Optional: ½ cup to 1 cup dried fruit
- Preheat oven to 325F/ Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts/seeds and coconut.
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, heat the maple syrup, coconut oil, sugar and salt for 4 to 5 minutes until melted and blended; pour over granola, stirring to coat. Spread evenly on prepared sheet.
- Bake in preheat oven for 20 to 25 minutes (do not stir). Cool in pan on a cooling rack, then break up into clusters; Stir in fruit, if using.