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Most of the things I post on here could easily start out with the words, "I love," followed by whatever food is the post's topic.  Granola is one of those.  It's something I could eat my body weight in.  The only problem is that granola is so expensive!  I mean, $3 for a bag of granola that I can eat in 1-2 sittings?! 

So, the solution?  Make your own!  I can see I have lost some of you already, thinking that making your own granola is along the lines of sewing your own clothes- why bother, right?  Making your own allows you to control the ingredients, so you don't end up with less than your favorite granola.  It's much more economical, and it's a very healthy snack.  I love Molly Wizenberg's article on making your own granola in the June issue of Bon Appetit.  She humorously describes the bad raps we granola makers get at times.  Read here for a great article and recipe. 

My favorite recipe deviates from hers, and is found in the almost ubiquitous Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.  If you have one of these, make this tonight!  It is simple, fairly quick, and creates a granola that strikes an almost perfect balance between crunchy and chewy.  Because I only like dried fruit in granola I don't eat with yogurt, I like this basic recipe for its simplicity and honey flavor.  There are options at the end for changing up the recipe, but being the person I am, I usually stick to the basic method and recipe I love.

Adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook

2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 c. chopped nuts
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/2 c. either raw sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, or a combination of both
3 oz. honey
1 oz. maple syrup
2 Tb. flavorless oil, such as canola

Preheat your oven to 300 F.  Prepare a large banking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Mix all dry ingredients together.  Stir together the wet ingredients.  Pour the wet over the dry and mix. 

Pour the granola into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. 

Take the granola out of the oven and pour onto a sheet of wax or parchment paper to allow to cool. 

  • I am intentionally vague on the nuts.  I usually use whatever I have on hand, be it walnuts, almonds, pecans, or a combination of the three.  Use your favorite, or if you're not into chopping nuts, buy the bagged, pre-chopped kind. 
  • In regards to the liquids, the ounce measurements are not exact.  I typically fill a 1 cup measuring cup with mostly honey and a little maple syrup.  A half and half ratio usually results, to me, in not as good a flavor, and using all honey usually makes it taste too stale after a couple days.  I find the approximate 3:1 ratio just right.  I have also tried molasses, but the honey/maple syrup combo is my favorite. 
  • The granola clumps as it cools. 
  • If you do want dried fruit in your granola, put it in after it has baked, lest you end up in the dentist's office with a broken tooth.
  • For added health benefits, try putting in some ground flax seeds.  I usually try to put in a couple tablespoons.
So, there you have it!  Let me know what you think!

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