Granola! Crunchy, delicious, and now, handcrafted by you. Make it as is or add some special touches (see below for inspiration) and watch your family gobble it up. You’ll wonder why you didn’t try making this versatile treat (for breakfast over yogurt, for lunch on an açai bowl, for dessert with ice cream) sooner.
- 2 cups oats
- 1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (1/4 cup if you prefer less sweet)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 3 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1-2 Tablespoons water or decaf espresso
Mix dry ingredients together in a heat proof bowl, like a stainless steel one. Bring wet ingredients to a boil, turn off, cool for a few minutes and pour over dry ingredients. Stir until combined well.
Spread mixture on cookie sheet or jelly roll pan oiled or lined with parchment paper.
- If you like hunks of granola, squeeze mixture with your hands and make clumps of granola. Wheat germ will make your oats stick together once it is wet. If you prefer a granola that doesn’t have chunks, then try skipping wheat germ and don’t squeeze into clumps, just spread out in pan.
Bake at a 275 degrees F for 20 minutes, stir and turn over larger pieces, and return to oven for 20 more minutes, checking once. Bake to a golden brown. You may need to add more or less time.
Ideas for experimentation: Sub some molasses for maple syrup (but not all). Molasses gives a nice deep brown color. Try adding more or less sugar or syrup. Experiment with adding 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, a dash of cloves and dark chocolate pieces (which is what is shown above). Add chopped dried apples before cooking for the second half of cooking time. Include ground flaxseeds, chopped pecans and/or walnut pieces to your dry ingredients. You can even mix in two Tablespoons of almond or peanut butter with your wet ingredients. Have fun!
Recipe adapted from USA TODAY, 2014