Yes, I made granola from scratch yesterday, and today.... I had it for breakfast! It was quite yummy!
I love that this was a recipe where I needed to also make one of the ingredients :) I needed oat flour and, I haven't done the jumpy uppy downy happy dance on here yet to share my excitement about my newest acquisition.. but I now have a grain mill!! (jumping up and down clapping hands with excitement)
Personally I like the cluster type of granola that you get in the store. Every time I have had homemade granola, it has been the loose toasted type. But I have always loved that too.... soooo I decided to make them both and mix them!
Granola is one of those fun things you can play with and make it your own. One of those things where you just need to know the basics and you can adjust, add, remove, and enhance all you want. Both in the base cereal part and in the add-ons. For this batch I used brown sugar and honey, but I am going to try using different mixtures of pure maple syrup, honey, brown sugar.
I love having a basic granola that is tasty and then adding in whatever fruits I want to.. like a sundae bar. In fact, I am going to create a granola bar that will make morning (or late night ;) creation that much easier.
Ok.. so in order to make that great cluster chunky kind of granola you will need to first preheat your oven to 300° (oh and just as a warning.. don't get distracted when you are in the baking/stirring phase.. the browning can go into burning pretty quickly :/ )
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 ½ cups oat flour
- 2 cups nuts ( I had a mixture of chopped almonds, sliced almonds and soy nuts.. cause that's what I had on hand)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon ( I like cinnamon)
- ½ cup butter (one stick.. I used sweet cream salted)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey (cause.. once again.. it's what I had handy)
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
Mix the oats, oat flour, nuts and spices into a large bowl.
In a sauce pan, over mediumish heat, melt butter, brown sugar, honey and water.. Stir stir stir until it just starts to bubble then remove from heat and add in the sea salt and vanilla.
Spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet in clumps. You can break it up later too.. but may as well start it out in the cluster sized you want. I use parchment paper as a liner to make life that much easier in all things baking. (if you have never used parchment paper.. you have to.. really you do!)
Bake for about 15 minutes then stir it up and turn it over. Bake another 5-10 and stir again. Repeat this until you have an even golden brown on all sides. This is the step where you don't want to get distracted or you end up with that extra flavor called.. burned. It may still be a bit soft, but it will harden up as it cools so don't go by the crunch factor, go by the color.
This tray went a little further than I would have liked, but it still tastes great :)
Luckily, I had it on the parchment so I was able to actually remove the entire thing from the hot tray to stop the cooking.
That's it! You have now achieved your own cluster chunky granola! Now you can add whatever dried fruit you want and enjoy.
I went one more step because I wanted to bulk it up with the loose type granola too.
For this I actually followed this basic granola exactly ( I know right!?) .. oh wait, not EXACTLY.. I used flaxseed oil instead of vegetable.
My add-ins have consisted of dried apples (my own of course), raisins, chopped up dates, dried bananas, and craisins. I have some pineapple that needs to go into the dehydrator today and some coconut that I am going to toast up too.
Have fun with your own creations! Let me know what your favorite granola mix is.