But just because I'm not out in nature doesn't mean that the seasonal foods that I love this time of year have to stop, right? Normally I would pack up a container of granola and be on my way outside. So, why not still make the granola and lightly snack while looking out my window. It helps me connect a bit with a sense of normalcy.
There are lots of different granola methods. Cook high temp? Cook low temp? Use maple syrup or honey? Plain or nuts/fruit? The great thing about this recipe is that you can tailor it to you you'd like your granola to taste, and frankly, as long as you're attentive you can't really screw it up. It's so good and so easy! Another thing about making it, instead of buying it, is that it helps you to understand why granola is so high in calories! I was shocked at how much sugar and oil it takes to make granola! It's an energy food for activity. This should not be consumed in large quantities as you're sitting on your couch and looking out the window. So, when I made it this year, I'm didn't double the batch like I normally do.
- 5 cups rolled oats (not instant or quick)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil + more as needed
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups of nuts (slivered almonds, pepitas, cashews, etc...)
- 1 - 2 cups of dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, mango, pineapple, etc)
Pre-heat an oven to 250 degrees. Line two large, lipped cookie trays with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray or lightly oil the foil.
In a large bowl, mix the syrup, brown sugar, honey, vegetable oil, and salt. After those ingredients are mixed well, add the oats and nuts to the bowl. Mix until very well combined and all the oats/nuts are coated. If you feel the oats are not coated well enough, add a bit more vegetable oil until coated. Spread the mixture on to the prepared cookie trays. The mixture should be in a thin layer. If it's too thick, it may not cook well and/or it will take too long to cook.
Place the trays in the oven. Heat until the oats/nuts are completely browned, stirring the mixture every 15-20 minutes. This browning process takes at least 1 hour and 15 minutes-- maybe a bit longer. Careful when stirring the mixture because it's hot and sticky!
After the mixture is toasted, remove from the oven and cool, stirring occasionally. When completely cooled, if desired, add in the dried fruits. Store in an air-tight container.
Hint: if you have some in your family, as I do, that do not care for certain kinds of dried fruits, feel free to divide the granola and make customized flavors! This whole recipe is very customizable to whatever tastes you have in your family. Feel free to experiment with different nuts, seeds and fruits.