One of the parts I like best about cooking is the more you do it, the better you become. The same holds true with recipes. The more you make something, you can make little tweaks along the way that makes it better. Or different. Or both. I started making homemade granola last year and have enjoyed having it for breakfast with Oatley for an easy, quite satisfying meal. Plus I love giving it as gifts in cool jars too. My latest change to my initial recipe below is changing the cooking time from 12 to 15 minutes each of the two rounds in the oven, so it is now cooking for a full half hour. The granola becomes deeper in flavor and a bit nuttier as things brown a bit more. An easy change but quite noticeable in the flavor. Again, it is not a better, just a different. You might still like the less browned version. For the one yesterday, I used tons of sunflower seeds, pecans, French prunes & Turkish figs. The last two we often serve with cheese so we had them on hand. As I said in the recipe, use what you like most or have in your cupboard. Enjoy!
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pistachios
OK, here is the deal, you really can use whatever nuts and raisin equivalent you would like. The photo above, my last batch, included what I have in the ingredient list. I have also used walnuts and dates. The cool part is you really can make it your own.
Oven to 300 degrees with the rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl add the oil, syrup, vanilla and salt. Mix together. Then add in the oats. With a wooden spoon mix all together until the oats are thoroughly coated. I chopped half the pistachios and left the other half whole. Mix those in with the sunflower seeds and the raisins. I left the raisins whole as they were jumbo variety. Many recipes say to put in the fruit after it comes out of the oven. I like that they plump up a bit and get caramelized. Your call here.
Spread out evenly on the parchment paper. Put in oven for 12 minutes. Take out and mix around and put in for another 12 minutes. Cooking time is 24 minutes total. It will all continue to cook once you take it out and let the entire lot cool. Break up and put into jars or baggies once cooled.