Sarah’s Homemade Granola

Ingredients:
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
¼ cup cooking oil (canola, vegetable, olive or coconut)
⅓ cup honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add-ins:
½ cup dried cranberries
½ to 1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees, with rack in the center position.

Place the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside.

Place the oil, honey, syrup and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour onto the oat mixture and use your hands to mix until all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour the mixture out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and use a rubber spatula to press the oats into an even, single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and stir thoroughly, spreading back into an even layer before returning to oven. Bake until the granola is a light golden brown, about 5 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool sheet on a wire rack until room temperature.

Meanwhile, increase oven temperature to 325 degrees. Place sliced almonds in a single layer on another parchment-lined baking sheet, and toast for about 4 to 5 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove and transfer almonds to a medium bowl to cool.

Once the granola has cooled, add the dried cranberries and toasted almonds and toss lightly to combine. Store in an airtight container for 3 to 4 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Sarah’s Tips:

  • Make your own trail mix by mixing the granola with a half-cup each of any of the following ingredients; 2 additional dried fruits, toasted coconut, a hearty nut like peanuts or cashews, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pretzels and chocolate candies or dark chocolate chips.
  • Package in decorative jars to give as gifts.
  • Granola can become quite sticky as it bakes, and parchment paper will make stirring it easier, and prevent a messy clean-up.
  • When cooking with honey, coat the measuring cup with oil or cooking spray to keep it from sticking to the cup.
  • Sliced almonds toast quickly, so we prefer to toast them separate from the granola to prevent burning.