I love granola, but I pretty much stopped eating it when we moved to Chicago. It’s expensive to buy in stores, and somehow it never occurred to me to try to make my own.
I did a little research and pulled together a recipe that I think is awesome. One of the things I like so much about this recipe is that it’s so versatile. You could easily sub maple syrup for most or all of the honey, or cut the coconut in favor of more wheat germ or sunflower seeds. Any fruits or nuts should pair well with this recipe; I used sliced almonds and dried cranberries in mine.
4 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened, if possible)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2-2 cups dried fruit and nuts
Combine the rolled oats, coconut and wheat germ in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Pour the oil, honey, brown sugar and cinnamon into a small saucepan. Combine the wet ingredients using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, then bring them to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the saucepan from the burner and stir in the vanilla.
Pour the hot liquid into the oat mixture, and toss until completely coated. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray, then arrange the coated oats in a shallow layer on the sheet. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring the granola every 5 minutes or so to keep it from burning. It cooks really fast, so keep an eye on it; when it starts looking golden brown and smelling toasty, take it out.
Transfer the hot granola to a bowl and toss it with the nuts and dried fruit when it’s completely cool. Store in an airtight container.