22 November 2011

Homemade Granola

This recipe has been a long time family favorite.  It can be made in larger batches and stored in airtight containers for up to six months though it usually doesn't last that long--it's too delicious!  Plus it has the added bonus of packing in lots of whole grains and thanks to the light sweetness, it doesn't taste too 'healthy.'  It doesn't take much to fill a stomach either.  And it's homemade . . . really, I could go on and on about how wonderful this granola recipe is.

Ingredients:

10 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 pound shredded coconut
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
3 cups chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or combination
1/2 cup flax seed meal (optional)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons vanilla
Raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Preheat oven to 300F.  Combine oats, wheat germ, coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nuts and flax seed meal (if using).  Blend well.
In a large saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, oil, honey, molasses, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.  Heat until dissolved but do not boil.  Pour syrup over dry ingredients and stir until well coated.
Spread into five 13x9in pans or cookie sheets with sides.  Bake 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Bake 15 minutes longer for crunchier texture.  Cool.  Add dried fruit or raisins if desired.  Store in airtight containers.
 ***Be aware that while the granola is still warm, it will not be crunchy when finished baking--test a small spoonful by allowing to cool to see if it has reached desired crunchiness***
 Enjoy!

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