I have been making my own granola since the mid 1980's. My next door neighbor used to make her own granola and she taught me how to make my own. I've been a huge fan ever since.
I have bought it ready made on occasion and I have to say it has always, always, ALWAYS been a bit of a disappointment, no matter the brand. It just has never come up to my homemade one.
I like lots of nuts in mine, and this recipe has a really nice nut to cereal ration, coming in at half the amount of nuts as there is cereal and coconut combined.
You can use whatever kind of nuts you like. Today I used cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds and pistachios. Normally I also throw in some macadamia nuts but I didn't have any to use today.
I use organic unsweetened coconut chips. I like the size of them and the nice crunch they give to the finished granola. You could certainly add any dried fruit you like to the finished granola.
I prefer to add it as and when. Sometimes I add dried sour cherries, and others I am in a raisin mood. Sometimes I don't want any fruit at all except for fresh fruit. The sweetness in the granola comes from a small amount of pure maple syrup. 120ml spread out over the whole recipe means that its not overly sweet and I think it is just right. A bit of vanilla also adds a nice touch.
*Perfect Granola*Makes about 6 cups
Preheat the oven to 160*C/300*F/gas mark 3. Have ready two shallow baking sheets with rims. Spray lightly with low fat cooking spray.
Measure the nuts, coconut, and oats into a bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Pour this over the oats, coconut and nuts. Stir to combine well. Divide the mixture between the two trays spreading it out evenly. Place into the oven using the top and bottom racks. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove. Stir well and then return to the oven changing the pan which was on the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top. Repeat three times, stirring each time and switching racks, for a total of 40 minutes in all. The nuts and oats will be toasted and the coconut a golden brown. take care that it doesn't start to burn. Allow to cool completely and then store in an airtight container.
I am not a hippie dippie, but I do love my granola! To me this is perfect. You might like a bit of spice with it, so feel free to add cinnamon or cardamom, whatever floats your boat. A handful of this also makes a nice snack. Bon Appetit!