I have always really liked granola and if I am ever in a store with bulk bins with several flavors, I will normally get a sampling of each flavor. I knew I could make it at home, but I thought it was probably a lot of trouble. I was very happy to discover that I was wrong! Nothing that I have ever bought in any store matched the taste in that first batch of granola that I made. Even though I burned it a little, I could taste the reason that people make their own granola.
I haven't bought granola in a store since.
Normally when I make granola, I make what I call "kitchen sink" granola. It really is just a mix of whatever I happen to have on hand that I think will taste good in the granola.
My ingredients for this batch included dried apples, pecans, brown sugar, oats, coconut, honey and dried cranberries. You can also see in the brown sugar canister that I accidentally combined some dark brown sugar with some light brown. Normally I only buy the light brown and just add extra molasses when I need the dark brown.
After mixing all of my ingredients, I spread the mixture out on a large cookie pan.
After it bakes and cools, I pour it into mason jars and vacuum seal so it will stay fresh longer.
There are so many variations on the basic recipe, you can really do almost any taste combination that you like. Here is my basic recipe:
5-6 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal
1/2 cup of oil ( I usually use coconut )
1/2 cup of sugar ( any kind, here I used brown sugar)
1/2 cup of honey (or maple syrup or molasses
2 heaping tablespoons of seasoning (I used cinnamon in the batch, but you can play around with pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, pumpkin powder, cocoa powder whatever you think might taste good)
Add in ideas: any dried fruit or berries, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips,etc
Measure out the oatmeal in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl combine oil, sugar, honey and cinnamon and mix well. Pour this mixture over the oats and stir until all the oats are covered. If the oat mixture looks too wet, I will add a little more oats.
At this point you can add your add in items, excluding anything that might melt. I have seen some recipes that add everything after it cooks, but I like to add them and bake them with the oats.
Spread mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool. If you are using an ingredient that might have melted, you can add it now. Store in an airtight container.