Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Crunchy Granola

This is the best granola I've ever tasted! It makes a TON, too, so it's worth the effort to make, since it will last for a while. We eat it like cereal with milk and also on top of homemade yogurt. Yummy! All the nuts in this are what put it over the top, in my opinion.

8 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1 1/2 cups oat bran (*For more fiber, use all wheat germ)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup honey
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line three large baking sheets (with sides) with parchment or aluminum foil.
2. Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins or cranberries before storing in an airtight container.

* Note on the bake time: This will still seem chewy at 20 minutes. Resist the temptation to bake it until it is completely crisp, as it will continue to cook a bit after it is removed from the oven and may burn. It will be crispy after it is cooled.