This granola is delicious and utterly wholesome. Plus, it's totally versatile: you can make it with your favorite ingredients, and eat it with either yogurt or milk. This granola is exceptionally rich in protein, fiber, and Omegas. It's true that there is brown sugar, honey, and butter in it -- but much less than in most granola recipes, and if it takes a bit of sugar and fat to shepherd that lovely flock of whole foods into my children's bodies, that's fine with me. You might want to start with a little less flax and a little more honey, and then tip the balance slowly each time you make it.
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 45 minutes
Yield: 10 cups
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped raw nuts (I use a mix of pecans and almonds)
1 /2 cups shredded coconut (mine is the sweetened kind)
1/4 cup each raw pumpkin seeds, whole flax seeds, ground flax seeds, and wheat germ
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 stick butter (mine is salted)
1/3 cup mild-tasting honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat the oven to 300ºF.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a very large bowl (hands are nice for this, as are children), then melt the butter and honey together in a small saucepan, add the vanilla, and stir it into the dry ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon (preferably one that doesn't hold an aromatic memory of garlic or cumin) until everything seems well moistened.
- Now spread the granola evenly on two very large rimmed baking sheets (I think mine are called "jelly roll pans," and they're 12 inches by 17 inches) and bake for 15 minutes.
- Now take the pans out of the oven and use a spatula to stir the granola around -- the edges may have started to brown a bit, and the idea is to move it often enough that all of it browns without any of it burning; be especially wary of the wheat germ, which likes to hide out at the bottom of the pan where it can char in peace.
- Put the pans back in the oven (switching their positions), and bake another 10 minutes, then stir them around and return them to the oven.
- After another 10 minutes (35 minutes altogether), evaluate the granola for doneness: it should be fairly golden and toasted-looking; if it's not, return it to the oven for a few minutes at a time, stirring at each checking until it's done; bear in mind that it will continue to toast a bit in the hot pans after you remove them from the oven.
- Allow the finished granola to cool completely before storing in a large, lidded, airtight container.
If your family doesn't share a titanic aversion to sunflower seeds, please feel free to add them here. Along with cinnamon, which is another normal granola additive that I don't add. If you want fruit-raisins, dried cherries, or those rolly dates that look like bird poops-wait until the granola has baked and cooled, then stir it in.