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Crunchy Granola and Proud of It

I am a sucker for fresh baked granola. I love the varieties of crunch, the hidden gems of dried fruit like ruby-red cranberries or golden California apricots. I eat it by the fistful as a snack, over yogurt for breakfast, or heated with milk for a quick porridge on a cold morning. You can toss almost anything into a granola—seeds, toasted wheat germ, or crushed pretzels. Baked with a little vanilla, honey, and brown sugar, salty staples get a sweet kick and meld together perfectly.

Another bonus: it’s cheap! Have you noticed how expensive store-bought granola is these days? For one box of granola, you could purchase enough rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts to make two or three batches. You can choose how much or how little of each ingredient you want to add (I personally like a little extra fruit—something I’m always digging around for in those store-bought varieties). Homemade granola doesn’t have that stale, overdone texture you find in stores. It also makes your house smell great while it bakes.

Below is my go-to standard granola recipe. I like it because it’s adaptable, super fast, and consists of everything I already have on hand. Got leftover mixed nuts from a party? Omit the salt and toss them in. Like pumpkin seeds? Dried pineapple? Maple syrup instead of honey? The possibilities are endless. A great fall breakfast, snack, or gift for friends.

Quick Granola

2 cups rolled oats (or quick-cooking)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted nuts or pretzels)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mixed nuts, unsalted

3/4 cup dried fruit

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, and salt. Toss to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, combine oil, honey, sugar, and vanilla.

4. Combine honey mixture with oat mixture, tossing with hands until coated. Spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

5. Gently flip granola with a spatula to prevent sticking. Add nuts. Bake another 15 minutes, flipping again halfway through cook time.

6. Cool completely on baking sheet; fold in fruit. Store in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to 1 week.  

 

Invent your own granola or try one of ours: Pistachio Granola (above) or this Molasses-Almond Granola