Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Homemade Granola

For those of you  who are not granola fans, so to speak, this is still a must-make recipe.  Even if it is just to smell it baking in your home.  It smells just plain wonderful.  Granola can be anything you want it to be.  Sweet, salty or both.  Mine just happens to be a product of my pantry.  I always end up with 1/2 cup of this or that leftover.  It is nice to find a nice healthy way of cleaning it out. 

4 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of crushed pecans
1/2 cup of broken pretzel sticks
1/2 cup of dried cherries
1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/3 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup of honey
1 T. of maple syrup
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. of real vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. of almond extract

-Preheat oven to 325*.  In a large mixing bowl stir together the oats, coconut, pecans, pretzels, cherries, cinnamon and salt; set to the side.  In a small saucepan bring the oil, honey, syrup and brown sugar to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.  Pour into oat mixture and thoroughly combine.  Cover two large cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray with canola cooking spray.  Spread out wet granola evenly on each sheet.  Bake for about 25-28 minutes; stopping every 10 minutes to stir it.  Once it has reached a dark golden color, remove from oven and allow to completely cool.  Once cooled, break apart into small chunks.  Eat alone, top off your yogurt or even garnish the top of some muffins prior to baking.  I think that I may do that to a loaf of Banana Bread today :)  Yields 8-9 cups.  Enjoy!

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