Heck of a last semester at Rowan, but I am finally a college graduate! This hungry student now has her B.A. in journalism, a minor in psychology and an honors concentration. In fact, I’m now a hungry grad student: I’ll be pursuing my M.J. in online journalism at University of Maryland – College Park this fall! I’ve also been toiling away on StacyAnnJ.com, my professional portfolio and blog.
As my inaugural “Hey, I’m Back!” post, I present you with some homemade granola. In fact, as this recipe yields so much, I’d be happy to ship some to anyone interesting in sampling my creation. It’s very tasty, and like all granola recipes, completely customizable.
I found a good starting place in this recipe at Eat Real. Sandy also includes some excellent recipe notes about why you should bake your granola low and slow, and how to tailor your granola so it suits your tastes perfectly. For mine, I decided to add some vanilla, cut back on the nuts by half and substitute some apple oil for the vegetable oil.
The apple oil, pictured below, added a really nice extra layer of flavor. Count on seeing me use it in other baked goods!
Once you realize how easy and cost-effective making your own granola is, you’ll scoff at the small and pricey packages your supermarket sells.
Cranberry Almond and Walnut Granola
3 C. Rolled oats (Not instant)
3/4 C. Almonds, chopped
1/2 C. Walnuts, chopped
3 Tbsp. Apple oil
1/4 C. Brown sugar
1/3 C. Honey
2 Tbsp. Sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Almond extract
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
1-2 Tbsp. Butter (optional)
1 C. Cranberries, dried
- Preheat oven 250F. Spray a large, edged cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray liberally. No spray? Use the optional Tbsp. or so of butter to grease it. Be thorough!
- In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, brown sugar, honey, oil, sesame seeds, sugars, extracts, cinnamon and salt.
- Use a spoon to gently combine all the ingredients until they are evenly mixed and gooey.
- Dumb the contents of your large bowl onto the sheet. Use your spoon to spread the granola into an even layer that covers the whole pan.
- Bake for 1 hr. 15 min. in preheated oven (250F). Pop in every 15 minutes to mix the granola, then smooth it back out with a spoon.
- When you remove the granola from the oven, it will still be gooey. Let it rest on the pan for about 20 minutes so it can set into delectable little bunches.
- The granola SHOULD come off the pan easily. If at this point you find that you haven’t greased the pan as you should have — Don’t worry. Happened to me too. — grab a spatula and get creative.
- If there are still hunks of granola that won’t budge, drizzle some dish soap onto the pan and cover it with hot water in your sink. Let it soak a few hours — overnight, preferably — and all the solids will be ready to release soon enough.