I love granola! I don't eat breakfast very often...I have no excuse really, I work in a restaurant that serves breakfast all day...but I never take the time to eat any thing (water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink) but something like yogurt and granola, I can eat at my desk..it is healthy and filling without making you feel too full and lethargic...it is so easy to make and freezes very well in small amounts...this would make a nice gift!
7 cups (1 1/2 pounds) rolled oats, uncooked
1 cup (4 ounces) flaked unsweetened coconut (optional, but good)
1 cup (4 ounces) stabilized wheat germ
1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sliced almonds
1 cup (4 ounces) diced pecans or walnuts
1 cup sunflower seeds, raw or toasted
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (11 ounces) pure maple syrup*
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vanilla extract
5 cups (about 20 ounces) mixed dried fruit** (raisins, cranberries, cherries, diced pineapple, diced apricots, chopped dates, or the mixture of your choice)
*Pure maple syrup (as opposed to maple-flavored cane sugar syrup) makes a MUCH tastier granola.
In a very large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, wheat germ, nuts, and seeds. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, salt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Pour over the dry mixture in the bowl, stirring and tossing till everything is very well combined; a spoonula or large stirring spoon work well here.
Spread granola on a couple of large lightly greased baking sheets; a half-sheet pan is ideal. Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for about 90 minutes, stirring the mixture with a heatproof spatula, spoonula, or turner every 15 minutes or so. You want to bring the granola at the edge in towards the middle, so it all browns evenly. And reverse the baking sheets in the oven (top to bottom, bottom to top) each time you stir.
When the granola is a light–to–medium golden brown, remove it from the oven and cool completely on the pans. Transfer the granola to a large bowl, and mix in the dried fruit. Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature for several weeks; freeze for extended storage.
Yield: about 18 cups, about 4 1/4 pounds granola.
the few ingredients gathered together....
Mix the top 6 ingredients together in a very large bowl....you can adjust the ingredients if you don't like something or you really like a certain item...I left out sunflower seeds and added more walnuts(my favorite) and added more coconut.....make it like you and your family like it....this is a great family project...
mix the next 4 ingredients together and ...
pour and mix the wet into the dry, mix very well and...
spread on cookie sheets, 2 very large ones.....
bake and stir, and stir, and stir, and bake, and 90 minutes later it is finished, and golden....let cool completely and, try not to eat it all right then, seriously, it tastes like cookies and the house smells so good! ...
put back in your large bowl and add the dried fruit of your choice...
Enjoy with milk or as a topping or my favorite way with yogurt!
Cheers to Happy !!