Crystal's Favorite Homemade Granola
Years ago granola was a staple in our home. I made gallons and gallons of it to keep 8 hungry tummies full for breakfast. It was much better, in my opinion, than commercial breakfast cereals.
Now that my kids are grown and gone it has been years since I made a batch of granola. This year I wanted to give it away as gifts. I pulled out my recipe and got busy!
The ingredients for granola are very simple. You can make changes based on your own preferences.
The basic ingredients you will need are:
To begin get a very large bowl and add the oats, flour, powdered milk, cinnamon and salt. Stir it all up to combine everything.
In a small saucepan combine the oil, vanilla and the honey. I have always used olive oil for my recipe and never found the taste to be overwhelming. You can use whatever type of oil you prefer. Heat this up long enough for the honey to thin out and get easy to pour. Pour this mixture over the oats and mix it very well. You want it evenly coating the oat mixture. I find the easiest way to do this is with my freshly washed, clean hands.
Now it's time to bake. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread out the oats in a fairly thin layer. I use a jelly roll pan. You need something with edges on it. You'll be stirring this several times as it bakes so a cookie sheet without sides won't work.
I put 2 pans in the oven at the same time. It will take about an hour depending on how thick your layer of oats is. Make sure to check often towards the end of the cooking time to make sure it's not getting too dark. Stir every 15 minutes or so. I switch positions with the trays to ensure they brown evenly. When it is a nice golden brown it is done.
After it has finished cooking I pour it into a large pan. It will get crispy as it cools. While the granola is cooling I start preparing all the fun extra ingredients.
You will need dried fruit and nuts. This can be whatever you would like it to be. For my batch I chose black raisins, golden raisins, and dried bananas. You will also need nuts. I used a mixed nut variety but you can add your favorite type of nuts, almonds or cashews or pecans sounds good too. After I made this batch the thought of a batch made with dried cherries and almonds sounded yummy!
After the granola has cooled completely add the nuts and dried fruit.
Store covered or sealed in a jar of zip lock bag. I like to use canning jars, especially for gift giving.
Now for the recipe...
Crystal's Favorite Granola
12 cups uncooked oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup flour
½ cup powdered milk
1 T. cinnamon
1 ½ t. salt
1 cup olive oil, or oil of your choice
1 1/3 cup honey
1 T. vanilla
2 cup raisins or dried fruit of choice
2 cups nuts of your choice, chopped
You will need a very large bowl for mixing. Combine oats, coconut, flour, powdered milk, cinnamon and salt well in the large bowl and mix well.
In a saucepan heat the oil, honey and vanilla until just warm. This helps the mixture pour easily. Pour this over the oat mixture and stir well. I start out by stirring it with a large spoon, but end up mixing it with my hands to insure that everything is evenly mixed.
Spread this in a thin layer on 2 to 3 large cookie sheets with a rim and bake in the oven at 300 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. You will need to stir it about every 15 minutes.
I bake two trays at a time and switch the position of the trays each time I stir so that the granola browns evenly.
When the mixture is done you can pour it back into the large pan and let it cool.
When completely cool stir in the raisins and the nuts. You can store the finished granola in any air tight container or even a couple of large Ziploc type bags.
This recipe will make approx. 20 cups of granola.