Homemade Granola

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I swear this isn’t a post urging you all to abandon your recent habits of “leftover cookies for breakfast”.

I first tried this recipe for a breakfast potluck this December at work. I had contemplated baking some muffins, or a loaf of some sort…but instead was pulled into trying something new. Served with some plain yogourt and pureed raspberries, it was excellent and I definitely got some requests for the recipe.

There are a few things I like about this recipe that differentiates it from store-bought granola. Firstly, chopped dates versus raisins.  After purchasing a box muesli in England (Dorset Cereals) that used dates versus raisins, I was hooked. This is, not to be dramatic, life-changing. No more broken jaws from those pesky raisins. Secondly, the over-arching flavour in this recipe is ‘toasty’ with a hint of sweetness.. versus the often overly sweet granola purchased at the store. Thirdly, as many of my recipes, it’s highly adaptable. Throw in any dried fruit, nut, spices and serve it with whatever you like…but my favourite is just with milk.

Enjoy, in January and beyond.

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Ingredients

½ cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3 cups large flake oats (not quick oats!)
3 tablespoons vegetable/canola oil
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons ground flax
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
½ cup honey
½ cup chopped dates*

*I have purchased chopped dates from the bulk store, as well as self-chopped whole dates. Self-chopping gives a bit of a ‘stickier’ date, but still works well.

IMG_5956Instructions

1.Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone liner (or lightly coat with oil). Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, stir the almonds, walnuts, and pepitas until beginning to toast (they will smell wonderful and start to become lightly browned..about 3 minutes).
3. Add the oil and oats and stir well, coating all ingredients.  Toast for about 2 minutes or beginning to turn golden. Add the sunflower seeds for an additional 1-2 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, add flax, salt, chia seeds, cinnamon, and honey. Coat well.
5. Spread in an even layer on the baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown. Make sure you stir every few minutes to ensure even browning.
6. When golden, remove from oven and stir in dates. With a rubber spatula push the granola together, creating about a half inch thick slab. Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes, until room temperature.
7. When cooled, break up slab into clusters of desired size. You might experience some sticking to the baking pan. I found using a hard spatula to lift the granola bit by bit and breaking it up by hand was the easiest.

As per the original source, this keeps for about a week in an air tight container, but I haven’t been able to test that theory yet.

Slightly adapted from: Annie’s Eats

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