granola on spoon

Gosh, I like you guys.

I mean, really. I bring you a pathetic story about destroying four artichokes, and you respond with encouragement and advice and funny memories of dropped cupcakes and melted plastic lids on macaroni and cheese. You sure know how to make a girl feel better. I could hug you—each and every one.

But since we are Internet friends and all, and since you probably can’t be heading out to Chicago for some kind of cooking support group, I guess I’ll just do the next best thing—better, in fact:

This granola recipe is something special, really special, just like I promised and just like you ought to receive. This is the granola you will mix together in minutes, simply stirring and spreading and putting in the oven. And when it’s cooled and fully mixed, you will reach for handful after delicious handful, wondering where it’s been all your life.

I do not exaggerate.

granola with a wooden spoon

It is the creation of Kristin, author of beautiful TheKitchenSinkRecipes.com, and originally calls for flax seed and sesame or pumpkin seeds, but I didn’t have those things, so I omitted them. What I love about this granola (O.K., one of the things I love about this granola) is that it’s the best kind of versatile. Don’t like pistachios? Use something different. Can’t imagine granola without raisins? Make them one of the dried fruit additions.

This is your granola, so you can tweak it.

And it’s good. Really good. Like, the-best-kind-I’ve-eaten good.

dried fruit in pyrex

After I made this last Saturday, I brought a little Tupperware container over to my friend’s house, where we were going to watch a movie and eat healthy things like turkey burgers and fresh fruit, and the four of us, standing around the island talking, could not stop reaching for this stuff, with at least one person repeating, No, seriously, how is this so good?

With the crunchy texture of baked oats, this granola is sweet, with additions like maple syrup and brown sugar and honey; yet it’s also salty, lightly kissed with sea salt and filled with nuts. You could say I’m prejudiced, as the girl who does anything to put salty and sweet flavors together, having gone as far as sandwiching chocolate between Saltines, but the blend of these tastes is perfection, never allowing your mouth to get bored.

granola and fruit

And over the course of the week since making this batch, I’ve eaten it by itself, in bowls of milk for breakfast, in big handfuls at my work desk where I’ve been known to drop crumbs on my shirt and the desk around me. There’s a very real danger that I won’t stop eating this granola, not soon, not ever.

granola

But actually, that’s not a danger at all.





Homemade Granola
Adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweeteend
1/2 cup toasted mixed nuts (I used shelled pistachios and slivered almonds here)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups mixed dried fruit (I used chopped dried apricots and dried cranberries)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a large bowl, stir all the ingredients but the dried fruit together.

Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet, smoothing it out into an even layer. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how dark and golden you want it, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove the granola from the oven and and cool completely, in its pan, on a wire wrack. Once it’s cool, mix in the dried fruit.

Cooksnaps
Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Kristin

    Shannalee: I’m so glad you liked it and that you made it yours! I took to hiding it in the freezer for a while (as I am lacking in self-control), only to realize that it’s even better cold. So much for that.

  2. Lan

    i like recipes like this, the versatility of it, being able to add and subtract whatever according to your likes and dislikes.

    plus, not only is this sooooo good for you, i can tell it’s really tasty.

    fyi, flax seeds (and the oil) are so good for you, your skin and hair. don’t go too crazy with it and heat can actually negate whatever components the flax seeds has.

  3. Rachel

    I’ve been on a homemade granola kick lately too, and my recipe is similar to yours, only I realize mine has soy flour and powdered milk in it too. Do you have an explanation of why those things aren’t actually necessary? Just curious. I’ll try yours, as soon as I finish with the two gigantic batches I made in anticipation of house guests (and then, took those house guests to Lula and Cafe Selmarie instead, whoops). :)

  4. Shannalee

    Kristin – Thank YOU! Love, love this recipe.

    Lan – Exactly. BTW thanks for making me entertain the idea of flax seed. That is a step in the right direction, at least.

    Whitney, PostCollegeCook, Nealy – I hope you try it soon! And Nealy, I would love to hear about the culinary school!

    Rachel – I have no idea. Truthfully, I’ve never made granola with soy flour and powdered milk, so I’m not sure what I’m missing – does your recipe omit anything this has? If you try this, I’d love to hear your comparison.

    Valerie – Lan is fantastic. And welcome!

  5. Pingback: the heart of things | sugar-and-spiced candied nuts | Food Loves Writing

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