In my ongoing quest to save money on breakfast cereal, I've been making granola.
Now, there are about ONE HUNDRED BILLION recipes for granola on the Internet.
But I've come up with what I think is the best recipe. At least it's the one my family, including my granola-hating husband, loves.
Not only is granola cheaper than conventional cereal, it's more nutritionally robust. The fiber, protein, and healthy fat in this granola are perfect for school mornings when time is short but the need for a substantial breakfast is high.
I add dried fruit or sliced fresh bananas at serving time, but my kids prefer it without fruit. Also good as a topping for other cereal (my son's discovery) or baked apples (like a super-quick fruit crisp).
The reason there are billions of recipes is that granola is infinitely adaptable. You can adjust the amounts of or substitute different nuts, sweeteners, and oils (see my notes at the end of the recipe).
I hope you love this granola as much as we do.
Asha's Best Granola
adapted from Alton Brown's Granola
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw cashews
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil, warmed until liquid
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla
3/4 c. dried coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. (I often make granola right after I've baked something in the oven to take advantage of the reserved heat.)
Finely chop almonds and cashews. I use my mini-prep food processor, but you could also place the nuts in a Ziploc bag and crush them with a heavy spoon or mallet.
In a glass measuring cup, stir together coconut oil, corn syrup, salt and vanilla.
In a large baking dish or roasting pan, combine the oats, chopped nuts, and brown sugar. Pour the coconut oil mixture on top and toss until the oats are evenly coated.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. The oats should turn golden brown without burning. Add dried coconut during the last 10-15 minutes of baking and watch it closely; it browns faster than the other ingredients.
Remove pan from the oven and cool mixture completely before storing. The granola will crisp as it cools.
I store my granola in a stainless steel container with a tablespoon measure as a reminder to keep the serving size smaller than boxed cereal. (Have you ever seen a 14 year-old boy plow through a box of cereal? It's insane.)
Notes: If you don't use coconut oil, any mild-flavored oil will do. As for the dried coconut, I've used both sweetened and unsweetened shreds with good results, but my absolute favorite were these coconut flakes I found on sale. You can substitute pure maple syrup for the corn syrup if you like. Honestly, I was just trying to use up a bottle of Karo I've had in my cabinet forever. Next time I intend to try brown rice syrup. I'm also going to swap out the brown sugar for coconut sugar. I'll let you know how it goes.