If you've ever spent the night at our house, and before you sign my leather guest book, you've doubtless breakfasted on my homemade granola. It's all part of my nefarious plan to ensure that you've had a splendid stay. And, perhaps it seems like bragging to say it, but if you've ever eaten it, you've most likely asked me for the recipe. Actually, it's not really bragging because it was originally my sister Joey's recipe and I make sure to give her full, much deserved credit. Through the years, it's morphed a little bit from Joey's original recipe, only in that I've gotten much loosey-goosier, and I've been known to tinker with it in all manner of ways. In fact, I recommend you do the same! I've played with the oils (olive, peanut and walnut) and nuts(pecans, almonds, pistachios, hazelnut and brazil) and dried fruit (dates, apricots, cranberries) and....well, you get the idea.
The bottom line is, this is a fabulous leaping off point for granola. I recommend you put your own idiosyncratic spin on it and make it your own. It's wonderful to package up and give for presents but, best of all, it makes every morning seem really special when you're dining on your own "house special" breakfast.
And when people ask you for your secret recipe, please feel free to share it--just make sure you tell them that Joey is the genius behind it !
makes sixteen large servings
8 cups Old fashioned oats (not quick!)
2 cups flaked coconut (sweetened is fine, so is unsweetened, whichever is less expensive!)
2 cups chopped pecans, almonds, pistachios or other nuts of your choice
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups raisins
2 cups chopped dates, apricots, cranberries or other dried fruit of your choice
cooking spray for the baking sheets
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine oats, coconut, nuts, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and mix well.
Spray cooking spray on two large baking sheets and divide mixture between them.
Combine oil, honey, vanilla and one cup of water, and pour half over each pan of granola and mix well to moisten all of the ingredients in each pan.
Bake for one hour, stirring every twenty minutes.
After one hour, remove from the oven and cool pans on metal racks, stirring to make sure the granola doesn't stick to the pan as it cools.
Once granola is fully cooled, mix in the raisins and additional dried fruit.
Keeps well for two weeks sealed in closed, air-tight containers. Delicious when mixed with yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast. Be careful, it is very addictive!