Then I saw my friend Bex mention, on Facebook, that she was going to make some granola. I asked her for the recipe and she pointed me in the direction of a fellow blogger, that frequents Cooking for your Family. It turns out that Astrid, from Lunches Fit For a Kid, has the most amazing homemade granola recipe. Seriously, I tried a different recipe before this one and it didn't stand a chance. I love that Astrid's recipe only uses half of cup of maple syrup. Other recipes I've seen ask for way more maple syrup/honey to sweeten theirs. I also love the addition of flax (which I've been using for a while), wheat germ and oat bran.
This is slightly crispy, with a nice toasted nut flavor. Hubby and the kids also love it and that makes me so happy, since it's full of stuff that's good for them; and they don't even know it's in there. It's a very versatile recipe and I've been omitting the coconut, since Hubby isn't a big fan. Instead I'm adding unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds, once it's been baked. The fruit is very versatile too. Raisins, dried cranberries, apricots or dried apple; all are great in this!
Grandma's GranolaAdapted from Lunches Fit for a Kid
4 c rolled oats
1/2 c wheat germ
1/2 c oat bran
1 c shredded coconut
1/2 c dry milk
1/4 c ground flax seeds
1 c slivered almonds
1/2 c maple syrup (real only please. If you only have the fake stuff, just use honey)
1/4 c oil
1 1/2 c dried fruit (I used King Arthur Flour Fruitcake Fruits: dried apricots, raisins, pineapple, dates, and cranberries)
In a very large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, except for the dried fruit. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and maple syrup. Pour over the dry mixture in the bowl, stirring and tossing till everything is very well combined.
Spread granola on a couple of large lightly greased baking sheets; a half-sheet pan is ideal. (I used four 11x13" baking pans) Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for about 45-60 minutes, stirring the mixture with a heatproof spatula, spoonula, or turner every 15 minutes or so.
Watch it carefully so it doesn't burn!!! If it looks toasted and smells good, it's pretty much done. Burning granola is a very very sad thing.
When the granola is a light–to–medium golden brown, remove it from the oven and cool completely on the pans. Transfer the granola to a large bowl, and mix in the dried fruit.Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature for several weeks; freeze for extended storage
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