I googled easy granola recipes and every site sent me to Pam Anderson (no, not from Baywatch...). She was published in a USA Today article. Here is my scaled down version, just the parts that were helpful to me. I have been playing with the extras and mixing and matching these recipes. It has been delicious!
Some suggestions from Pam:
- Don't use quick oats - that is not going to work because they are not the right kinda oats.
- use both liquid and dry sweeteners - Pam uses maple syrup in the recipe but also suggest molasses and honey (in different proportions). This adds flavor and color to the granola.
- bake at low temperatures - I don't actually think we are cooking in the baking sense of the word. It was more about crisping the oats.
- make clusters - just like in the granola you bought at the store. The clusters hold whatever you put it on.
Master Recipe - makes about 1 quart
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup wheat germ (I don't know what this does)
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar (I found dark brown, I don't know what the difference is to regular brown sugar)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Extra ingredients (see below)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup - To replace maple syrup, use 2 tbsp each maple syrup & molasses
- 3 tbsp oil (it said flavorless, I used olive oil)
- 1 tbsp water
- flavorings (see below)
- Heat oven to 275 degrees
- Coat 9x13 metal pan with cooking spray (I didn't see the part about the metal pan and it worked fine!)
- Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl - NO FRUIT - and set aside
- Simmer wet ingredients together over low heat
- Drizzle wet over the dry (in the bowl) and stir to combine
- Pour into prepared pan
- Working in handfuls, seriously, squeeze to make clusters (if not clustering, add a little more water)
- Bake for 30 minutes
- ADD FRUIT NOW, not earlier so it isn't soggy granola
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more
- Cool, and EAT!!!
1. Classic Granola
Extra ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes (yea right, not in my kitchen), 1/3 cup raisins (yea right, maybe 1 1/2 cups)
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2. Crunchy Granola
Extra ingredients: 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 6 tbsp currants (I think they are berries?)
3. Granola with Tropical Flavoring
Extra ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped roasted unsalted cashews, 1/4 cup chopped banana chips, 1/4 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/4 cup dried pineapple
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp ground ginger
4. Granola with Cherries and Almonds
Extra ingredients: 1/3 cup sliced almonds, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dried cherries
Flavoring: 3/4 tsp almond extract
5. Trail Mix Granola
Extra ingredients: 1/4 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts, 1/4 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
***chips go in at the very end, after the baking, and after it has COOLED - DUH
6. Orange-Berry Granola with Pecans
Extra ingredients: 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup dried blueberries
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp orange zest
7. Pear Granola with Hazelnut & Vanilla
Extra ingredients: 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries, 1/4 cup dried pears
Flavoring: 1 tsp vanilla extract