Have you ever been given something that you love so much, you’ve refused to share it with anyone? Even when you know in your heart that sharing is the right thing to do? Did you ever take this particular item, hide it away in your pantry so that no one else in your family had any idea it was there, and keep it for yourself, rationing it out bit by yummy bit, so that it would last a reeeaally long time, because you never wanted to run out of it?
Well?? Did yah?
You can tell where this is going, right?
I…did such a thing. And I’m not proud of it. But I can ‘splain!
My friend Sarah gave away this amazing granola last month for Christmas. And I didn’t share a lick of it with anyone. Nope, sure didn’t. I took my pretty little bag and hoarded it and rationed it and finally ran out of it two weeks ago, at which point I began stalking Sarah by emailing, texting, and voicemailing her until she finally made me a copy of the recipe so that I would get off her back.
I’m certain she had no idea I could be so persistent.
I’m happy to say that I now have a very large quantity of this fantastic granola, and the only trouble is that I can’t stop eating it. It’s crunchy, not overly sweet, and so versatile. This morning I used it to top cottage cheese, while the rest of the DamFam had it spooned over yogurt. I’ve mixed it into Kashi oatmeal and eaten it by the handful directly out of the bag. It’s a winner. I pinky swear!
I’ll give you the original recipe here, but I made a few changes for my own batch. First of all, I halved it. I also left out the pecans and sunflower seeds, ‘cause my punks don’t like ‘em. For the dried fruit I used dried cranberries and banana chips only. Feel free to play around with the recipe; it’s as forgiving as it is outstanding!
Whether you share or not is entirely up to you. I’ll never judge!
SARAH’S MAPLE GRANOLA
Yield: 16 cups (this is a lot; again, I halved mine)
- 7 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (McCann’s boxed are on sale)
- 1 c. flaked coconut
- 1 c. wheat germ (find this in the cereal aisle near the oatmeal)
- 1 c. almonds, sliced
- 1 c. pecans, chopped
- 1 c. sunflower seeds, raw or toasted
- ½ t. salt
- 1 c. pure maple syrup (yes, pure – none of that pancake stuff, sorry!)
- ¾ c. vegetable oil
- 1 c. golden raisins
- 1 c. dried cranberries
- 1 c. chopped dried apricots
Preheat the oven to 250. Combine the oats, coconut, wheat germ, nuts, seeds and salt in a very large bowl. Mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. Pour the syrup mixture over the dry mixture, stirring and tossing till everything is very well combined.
Make the cleanup easy on yourself by lining 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the granola over the baking sheets. Bake for 2 hours, stirring mixture after an hour or so. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool completely. Transfer the granola to a large bowl and mix in the dried fruit. Store granola in an airtight container at room temperature.
Posted by Leah DamronLeah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."
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