I am no Euell Gibbons when it comes to nuts and berries, but I am crazy about granola. I love it on my morning yogurt, by the handful as a quick snack, or even as an ice cream topping. What I’m not crazy about is the price of granola. Paying $7 for a small bag of granola seems pretty silly once you realize how easy it is to make. It’s also something you can customize to your exact taste with the addition of nuts and dried fruits, whether bought in the supermarket or foraged in the wild.
This recipe comes from the Garland Lodge in Sedona, Arizona and can be found in their cookbook “Sharing the Table at Garland’s Lodge” by Amanda Stine and Mary Garland. I think you will find this granola to be quite addictive, incredibly quick and simple to make and with just the right balance of sweetness to offset the nuttiness found in the oats and nuts. I used almond butter in my granola, but you can use peanut butter if you don’t want to spend the extra money.
This granola is quite attractive, with a beautiful caramelized color, and is a perfect gift to friends and family in a holiday tin or canning jar with a big, festive bow.
Garland Lodge Granola
14 Cups Old-Fashioned Quaker Oats (not quick cooking oats)3 Cups chopped mixed nuts (one cup each of walnuts, pecans and almonds)
1 Cup Sesame Seeds
1 ½ Cups Almond Butter, or Almond Butter and Peanut Butter mixed, or plain Peanut Butter (as a last resort)
2/3 Cup Honey
1 Cup Maple Syrup (check the label to make sure it is maple syrup and not corn or another type of syrup)
2/3 Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Vanilla
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Nutmeg
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.
Toast the oats in the oven in 2 to 3-inch deep baking pans for 30 minutes. Add the chopped nuts and toast for another 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and rotate the pans in the oven as the top pan will brown more quickly. The idea is to toast it all lightly to bring out the nutty flavors before adding the wet ingredients. When done, put the oats and nuts mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the nut butter, honey, syrup, and oil together in a large saucepan. Heat until very hot and smooth, and then add the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to the oats and nuts mixture and toss until the mixture is evenly coated. Then back into the baking pans and toast at 300 degrees for another half hour, turning the granola mixture every 10 to 15 minutes and rotating the pans as needed. The goal is to cook it slowly until the granola is a deep golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool in the baking pans, breaking up any large chunks. When cool, put into tight sealing plastic containers or glass jars.
Granola Parfait: Layer granola in a parfait glass with berries and yogurt.
Granola with Dried Fruit: Add 3 to 4 cups raisins, dried cherries, cranberries or other dried fruit to the toasted and cooled granola for a nice addition of texture and color.