Granola

I’ve been experimenting with making my own granola and have finally found a recipe we like, which I make almost weekly.

In a large, shallow baking pan, toast 6-7 cups old-fashioned oats in a warm oven, stirring frequently.

In a small saucepan mix together 1/2 c. brown sugar, 2/3 c. honey, 1/3 c. syrup, and 1/2 c. oil over low heat. Add 1-2 tsp. vanilla and about 1 tsp. ground cinnamon. (Decreasing your sugar mixture will decrease the sweetness of the granola, but it will also decrease its clumpiness, so find the proportions that work best for you.)

When sugar mixture is warmed and oats have toasted about 10-15 minutes, transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl and pour the sugar mixture over them. Stir until all the oats are evenly coated in sugar mixture. Coating the oats thoroughly is what will give you nice, clumpy granola. (Optional: add 1 cup of chopped walnuts, pecans, and almonds to the oats.)

Return mixture to large baking pan and spread it in an even, thin layer. Return it to the oven and bake it at about 300F, stirring it every five or ten minutes to avoid burning and to keep it broken up in chunks. (Too much sugar and/or not enough stirring will leave you with one big granola bar!) Bake it until it’s thoroughly dried out and hardened. You can turn the oven off and leave it for an extended period of time in the warm oven too, then remove it, stir it, heat the oven back up, and do the same again. But if you can watch it carefully baking it at a steady temperature and stirring it frequently is much quicker.

Mix in dried fruit of your choice if you wish.

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