[A note from Courtney: Today’s blog post is brought to you by my mom, aka “Crunchy Nana“. She can cook, bake, make her own soap, mill her own flour, spin her own yarn, sew, knit, smock, appliqué, garden, raise chickens, deliver pug puppies, and much, much more. Leave a comment if there are any topics on which you’d especially like to hear more from Crunchy Nana!]
Homemade granola is delicious, healthy, easy to make, and much less expensive than buying pre-made granola. We ate the last of our granola yesterday morning, so of course today I’m in the kitchen whipping up another batch. My husband, John, LOVES this stuff and eats it almost every morning (and also snacks on it–I’m trying to wean him off of M&M’s!!).
My recipe is inspired by and adapted from one I found in my King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook, which is fabulous. The original recipe can be found on the King Arthur Flour website. The most notable changes are that I leave out the dry milk and use 3/4 cup of melted organic coconut oil as a healthier alternative to vegetable oil.
Crunchy Nana’s Favorite Ingredients (Organic If Possible!)
- 7 cups of rolled oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup flax seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tsp salt – I use Redmond Real Salt
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- Dried fruit
(I know what you’re thinking, and no, I don’t have a drinking problem. The Smirnoff bottle contains my homemade vanilla extract.)
The great thing about granola is that you can really play around with the recipe and put in any nuts your family likes. Granola is also a wonderful activity for little ones to “help” with, since there is so much dumping and stirring of dry ingredients.
Start by dumping all of the dry ingredients except the fruit into a nice, big baking pan.
Next, start preparing the “sauce” by melting 3/4 cup of coconut oil. (If your house is warmer than 76 degrees, then your coconut oil is probably liquid already, so you can skip this step.) Whisk together the melted coconut oil with 1 cup of pure maple syrup and a tablespoon of vanilla. Whisk it up until everything is nice and smooth.
Now just pour the sauce all over your nut and grain mixture, making sure not to waste one yummy drop!
Stir, stir, stir until everything is incorporated and you’re ready to pop it into the oven.
Bake it for two hours at 250 degrees, stirring well after one hour. The long, slow baking time makes it really nice and crunchy, which of course, Crunchy Nana likes. Do something fun while your kitchen fills up with the most delicious aroma. (I spent my two hours refinishing my dining room chairs with chalk paint!)
After the granola is done baking and has cooled a bit, add dried fruit if desired. Here I added chopped dried cherries, craisins, apricots, and mangoes. This is really more dried fruit than I would like to use, especially since it has added sugar. However, my husband likes it this way and since I took away his M&M’s…well, you get the picture.
And…I’m done! Delicious, homemade granola for the next few weeks! And besides that, doesn’t it look pretty?
[Another note from Courtney: Here’s the TL-DR version – throw everything together and bake it for 2 hours at 250. It’s hard to mess this one up. Enjoy!!]