this is our granola bar
Back when Stephanie posted her recipe on her old blog, we'd eaten plenty of granola but had never made our own. As soon as I printed out her recipe and made my first batch, we were hooked. Now I make it almost weekly. Granola is made of whole, real food. It's filling and more nutritious than breakfast cereal.
My kids like it with a healthy scoop of yogurt. I like it with a few pumpkin seeds, some dried cranberries, finely chopped apple, and milk. It's also just good by the handful on the way through the kitchen. It's so yummy right-out-of-the-oven warm, when the house is still filled with that tempting granola aroma.
Here is my version. I've typed it up dozens of times for friends- at least this way there will be a quick way to find it. Really, it's so easy, after the first few times you make it, you'll no longer need to look at the recipe.
Easy Granola (adapted from a recipe by Stephanie Congdon Barnes):
7 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
2 cups add-ins (seeds, nuts*, flax, dried fruit**, coconut, etc.) I always just use 1 heaping c. roasted sunflower seeds and 2/3 c. milled flax seeds.
3/4 cup maple syrup*** or honey or a combo (I use half of each)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch or two of salt
Stir together oats and add-ins (not dried fruit) in a large pan with sides (I use a roasting pan).
Heat oil, maple syrup, honey, canola, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt for a bit and stir. (I always use the microwave for 45 seconds or so. You just need to loosen up the syrup/honey and dissolve the salt.) You can also add some peanut butter here, but I don't. Pour over oat mixture and stir to coat evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350º F stirring every 10 minutes. Add dried fruit after cool. I keep small containers of add-ins (pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, chopped almonds) on the counter near the granola so everyone can dress theirs as they please.
I've never tried any of these, well, because I'm super boring and why mess with a good thing, but here are a few other recipes if you get the hankering:
*to keep your granola headache friendly, use seeds NOT nuts or peanut butter.
**In regards to headache friendliness, watch out for dried fruit. Sulfites are often used in the drying process. I emailed Ocean Spray and they wrote me back that their classic dried cranberries are fine but that their other dried fruits do contain sulfites.
***Use real maple syrup if you can. Imitation maple syrup is just high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavor and who needs that? Nobody.