Making your own granola is as easy as it is satisfying; nothing will make your home smell as wonderful as baking granola, and homemade granola always makes lovely gifts during the holidays. And, although it's on the rich side of healthy, it's prepared with heart-healthy grains, nuts, and oil (instead of butter like some traditional store-bought varieties), so you can feel good about sharing it with those you love or eating it with soy milk or a cup of soy yogurt. And, of course, if you're a real culinary MacGyver, you can always use your homemade granola to make Homemade Granola Bars!
Feel free to add additional nuts and seeds to your granola, and experiment with different kinds of dried fruit. Golden raisins, apricots, dried cherries, and dates all make excellent additions to homemade granola.
Yield: About 14 cups
- 8 cups rolled oats
- 2 cups millet
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1 cups sliced almonds
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 T. cinnamon
- 1 t. ground ginger
- 1 1/2 t. salt
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup canola oil or, alternatively, 1 cup melted dairy-free soy margarine
- 2 t. pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups dried cranberries
- 1 cup candied ginger (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Set aside two large ungreased baking sheets.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, millet, wheat germ, sliced almonds, chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, maple syrup, canola oil and vanilla until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing well to evenly distribute. Spread the granola evenly on the baking sheets and bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans half-way through and running a metal spatula beneath the granola to evenly brown. Allow the granola to cool completely on the pans, then toss with the dried cranberries and candied ginger (if using) and store in an airtight container. Granola will keep for several weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- While the granola will be lightly golden brown when you remove it from the oven, don't expect it to be darker than that. I've met many home cooks over the years that have burned their granola, expecting it to look browner than it actually should before it comes out of the oven. The granola will dry out a bit more as it cools on the pans, so take this into consideration when baking your batch. (This is also why it's important to rotate your pans and run a spatula beneath the granola while it bakes like the recipe suggests; it will keep your granola from unevenly baking and browning and ensure that the entire batch dries out evenly.)