If you spend any time in any grocery store these days you can't help but notice a serious proliferation of high end granola. Everyone and their grandmother is packaging their "one-of-a-kind" recipe for this oat-some breakfast treat. Many of these are high in fat, loaded with sugar, and quite frankly, not that good. We decided to consult our experts for their takes on this perennial favorite.
All of these recipes are highly customizable and have an endless array of add-on possibilities.
Here is 'Granola 3 Ways." At long last...three reasons to wake up in the AM.
"Crack Granola" by Ronit Tarshis
This recipe has been passed around the inner foodie circles of Westport for years. Developed in conjunction with a local baking celebrity (who shall remain unnamed), you should consider yourself lucky to get your hands on this infamously delicious and unusually flavorful snack. The sesame seeds really make this one.
5 cups Rolled Oats (NOT the 1-minute kind)
1 cup Coconut Flakes
1 cup Sliced Almonds
1/2 cup Sesame Seeds
1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
1/2 cup Honey
Preheat oven to 350-degrees
1. In large bowl, combine oats, coconut, almonds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
2. Melt butter and stir in honey.
3. Pour butter and honey mixture over oat mixture and toss gently to combine until evenly moist, without overworking.
4. Spread mixture on lightly greased baking sheet, packing down firmly with your hands or the back of a spatula.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden.
6. Using spatula, turn mixture over in large chunks and then use the back of the spatula to pack the granola back down firmly.
7. Bake another 10-15 minutes until just browning, being careful not to burn.
8. Allow to cool completely before removing granola from sheets into an airtight container, breaking up the larger chunks.
NOTE: If wanted, once the granola is cool, you can mix in any dried fruit such as cranberries, dates, raisins, or apricots. Almonds can also be replaced with pecans, walnuts, or any nuts you desire.
Chef Nicole's Healthy Low-Fat Granola
4 C. old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
¼ C. sweetened shredded coconut
½ C. sliced or slivered almonds, pecans or walnuts
2 tsp. apple pie spice
pinch of salt
¼ C. maple syrup
¼ C. dark brown sugar
2 Tbs. apple juice or water
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
¼ C. sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
¼ C. wheat germ
1 tsp. vanilla, orange or almond extract
To be added in after baking:
½ C. dried: cranberries, cherries, blueberries, dates, apricots, apples, mango
¼ C. finely diced candied ginger
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Stir together oatmeal, almonds, coconut, apple pie spice and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, apple juice and vegetable oil; pour over oatmeal mixture and stir to coat thoroughly. Any other optional ingredients except dried fruit and ginger should be added in now.
Spread mixture in an even layer onto a Silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. Granola should be tan, but not dark.
Cool mixture before adding dried fruit or ginger. Store granola in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Deanna’s Play With Your Granola Granola
4 cups rolled oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. safflower or canola oil
½ cup honey
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 cup chopped almonds *
1 cup chopped walnuts *
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds *
½ cup raw sunflower seeds *
½ cup ground flax seeds*
1/3 cup golden raisins *
1/3 cup dried cherries *
* All optional; can be omitted or substituted with other favorite nuts or fruits. Play with the mix-ins to suit your tastes.
Preheat oven to 325’. Line large baking pan with parchment.
In large bowl, toss the oats with cinnamon and salt.
In medium bowl, whisk the oil, honey, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Pour over the oats and mix until all the oats are covered.
Pour oats into prepared pan, spread evenly and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove and sprinkle all chopped nuts/seeds over the oats; mix to blend nuts and oats.
Return to oven and bake another 20 minutes until golden brown.
Add any dried fruit after the granola has cooled.