Making granola is suuuper easy & fun!
However! It takes a real talent to make ahhhmazing granola! My friend Jane of Nova Granola, you can see her button on my sidebar to the right.... hands down, Jane Metcalf makes thee best granola I have EVER tasted! On a scale of 1 - 10 hers is an 11 ... and I would say this recipe is a 6... it is very tasty...but not mind blowing like Jane's! :-[) This recipe I am using has been slightly tweaked from Armstrong Mansion's [Bed & Breakfast] recipe ... I worked there for almost a year back in 2009. I made their in-house granola and croissants every single day...while answering phones and checking people into their rooms.... so glad to be done with that job. One of the things that I did learn though was how to make a huge batch of good tasting granola.... Here goes....
You will need :
1 and a half containers of oats [Quaker Oats is better than generic brand]
1 - 2 cups of peanut butter....depending on how much you like the stuff
1/2 cup of 3 dried fruits [mentioned above] or 1 1/2 cup of the same fruit [raisins works well]
3 tbl spoons of vanilla
3 cups of honey
LOTS OF WALNUTS! And chop those mothers - of course these are optional too :)
4 pieces of candied ginger [optional] I divided my granola up into two different types: regular and decadent... like to eat with ice cream for example. My awesome friend Megan gave me that idea!
OH! & don't forget the cinnamon!! :) about 1 tbl spoon
& if you have nutmeg, add some of that freshly grated stuff as well...
Now put all the ingredients BUT dried fruit and ginger in a bowl together
and using your hands [YES YOUR HANDS....if you have kids, get them involved!] :-[) mix everything together, for about a couple of minutes. I've tried a spatula and mixer, hands are best! Now lick your finger! :-[) Does it taste good? Does it need more honey or vanilla? You decide. :)
Now plop your mixture onto a back sheet that has a 1" wall.... Lemme brag about this baking sheet from William Sonoma that we got as a wedding gift. Soo fantastic! The heating technology these days in bakeware is awesome...worth investing in some good baking sheets... I think it runs $14..
Okay, so after you've put the mixture on the sheet...mash it down with your spatula... and then put it in the oven at 350 degrees..... and...
set your timer for 5 min! Okay, here's where it gets a little high maintenance...
take your granola out every 5 min, turn over with your pancake spatula and make little mounds
of granola... then flatten it again next time you pull it out, mounds, flatten... do this till your granola is golden brown... about 25 min... be hard core about that 5 min! It may seem like nothing is happening...but it is. :) Trust me.
Voila! It should now look something like this: This batch is the decadent one... I ended up adding chopped dark chocolate chips to this one... it is sooo good!
Which has the chopped candied ginger in it! I love this stuff so much I could eat my weight in it! Another amazing use you can do with this ginger is mix it in with blueberries and diced mango [make sure the ginger is finely chopped...and a little goes a long way w/ fruit] this is my favorite fruit salad ever! A friend made it back in NY at a baby shower years ago and i've loved it ever since! Plus it's so affordable and makes your breath smell good too!
So let's say you really wanna get fancy and add some yogurt to your granola... and you wanna impress some friends, a boyfriend, or your hubby.... scoop some of that into a bag, cut the corner tip of the bag and swirl it around on top. Greek Gods is my favorite greek yogurt, it tastes like dessert if you ask me! But any greek yogurt will work.... since it is thicker than the regular kind.
And then sprinkle some brown sugar and cinnamon on top.... by the way... this is the regular batch that I put the yogurt on top of.... OH! and your friends and family will be making reservations at your house for their next breakfast or brunch date! :-[)
But wait, let's not stop there! What about the decadent batch I made? :-[)
I put some Bryers "Klondike" ice cream on top of that one..... hubba hubba! Granola really is so versatile...the decadent one you might wanna try adding some dried mangos and other nuts to make it into a trail mix....
So the recipe makes about 6 [grocery store amounts] of granola.... on Instagram I said that this lasts me two whole months. It really does. I eat about 1/2 a cup of granola [see those tiny bowls...they aren't that big] with about a 1/2 cup of yogurt for breakfast about 3-4 times a week...with that I will have some fresh fruit like cut up strawberries, peaches or bananas and orange juice. This fills me up...and it should as well for you...remember, our stomachs are only the size of our fists.
I hope you try this recipe... but if you would rather not, then at least buy some of Jane's Nova Granola to have your mind BE BLOWN!!! Have a great weekend! xo