Granola is a happy thing don't you think? Mine is particularly happy because it is loaded with Omega 3 and antioxidents. I am happy when I am making it, eating it and sharing it. I eat it for breakfast on top of cornflakes. I grab handfuls when I am peckish. My husband loves it too. My kids are fussy and don't like to be happy obviously hahahaha! No. My kids just don't like the extra effort of chewing this crunchy combo. They suck on it, extracting the milk, then spit it out. I don't waste it on them anymore. Although, yesterday, Dean decided he liked 'Lola' again. Fickle.
I posted a picture of it once on facebook and got requests for the recipe. Granola recipes are a dime a dozen so I thought that I wouldn't bother. But then I remembered how many recipes I went to for inspiration before concocting this one . . . and you might have the same taste-buds as me.
Start with a large jar. This one relieved itself of its last crunchy morsel only yesterday. I made a batch only a week ago so the jar is staying seasoned from that one. Gosh, do I make laziness sound alright or what?!
Then I grabbed my recipe notebook. This notebook is where I frantically write down recipes I see on TV or in library books or, as in this case, when inspiration strikes. This particular recipe is version 2, finalised only in Feb. But I have made it numerous times and believe it is worthy of sharing. I still have to refer to my notes as I tend to deviate if I don't and it can turn out great or turn out disastrous.
125ml real maple syrup (don't skimp here please)
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup mixed nuts (I usually have pecans, walnuts, cashews and almonds on hand but I usually stick with a mix of three different)
2/3 cup of a mix of sunflower seeds, pepitas and sesame seeds
ground cinnamon to taste (my taste is around 1/2-1 tsp!)
freshly ground nutmeg to taste (I do about ten grating strokes on the microplane)
2/3 cup mixed dried berries (I use dried cranberries, currants, raisins and goji berries)
2-3 Tbl chia seeds
Step 1 - melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat with the maple syrup and stir to combine. Preheat a fan forced oven to 130C (probs 145C if conventional, you may have to experiment as I can't actually turn my oven fan off to figure this one out)
Step 2 - combine rolled oats, mixed nuts, mixed seeds and spices into a large bowl.
Step 3 - in another vessle, combine mixed dried berries and chia seeds. The reason for this is that I find it better to add the berries after the rolled oats have toasted, to keep their flavour. I also find that the chia seeds stick nicely to the dried berries aiding in their even distribution. As seen in the picture below.
Step 4 - Combine the butter and maple syrup mixture in with the rolled oats mixture, giving it a good stir to ensure all the dry ingredients receive a lovely coating. Then spread the mixture out evenly between two lined baking trays (I utilise my pizza pans here). Keep the level even and low. Place in the oven for 30 mins, then stir the oats before smoothing them out again to have another 30 mins in the oven.
Step 5 - after the hour long toasting, I tend to just leave them in the cooling oven for a few minutes, before turning out into a dish to combine with the berries. Once cooled thoroughly, fill up your empty jar.
I must confess that this recipe does indeed fill my jar right to the top. I took this photo last week after a few helpings. Bit of a shame really as this week's batch turned out even better (I was a bit heavier handed on the cinnamon . . . mmmmmm)