You might be thinking that I could be talking about something else. Something else besides granola. Because who isn’t ready for granola? Only the exceedingly unprepared, that’s who. And if you aren’t ready for granola, get ready to get learned.
I like granola. It’s not always good for you, especially because a lot of granola has added fat and a fair amount of sugar. But when I make it myself, at least I know what fat and sugar I’m adding. And somehow that makes me feel healthier.
I loosely follow the Cook’s Illustrated recipe (subscription required), but I just use it as a guide. Because, as you know, measuring is for sissies.
Here is what you need: Oatmeal (we use extra thick cut), honey, maple syrup, canola oil, and what ever kind of nuts and fruit you want. Here I have walnuts pieces, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds and big fat coconut flakes. I love coconut. It’s not that great for you. But I like it.
We go to Bob’s Red Mill and buy all this stuff in bulk. It’s amazing how much cheaper it is. And Bob’s is always packed, so I get the impression they have to replenish their inventory frequently. So I don’t feel like I’m buying something in bulk that has been sitting on the shelf for years. We like Bob’s Red Mill a lot. Bob is 81 years old and just turned his multi-million dollar company over to his employees. Pretty bad ass.
I wanted to make a lot of damn granola, so I used about four cups of oats, a generous cup of walnuts, another generous cup of slivered almonds, about a quarter cup sunflower seeds, and probably two cups of coconut.
Mix these up good so they are all amalgamated and evenly dispersed. Heat up and stir about a third cup of honey, a third cup of maple syrup, and about a quarter cup of canola oil. Use a whisk or whatever you need to make sure it’s all a sticky gooey mixed up mess.
Then pour a little of the honey-maple syrup-canola oil mixture over the oats, nuts and coconut. Then stir it up good. Repeat, repeat, repeat until all the sticky stuff is in there and the granola is evenly coated.
Look at it.
I poured the granola into two pans and tried to make them as level as possible. I have been told that granola likes lot of air when it cooks. So I used two pans to make sure there would be plenty of circulation.
These are two new jelly roll pans and this is the first time we have used them. I don’t know what a jelly roll is. But the pans are damn handy. The oven is 325 degrees.
As it turns out, these jelly roll pans were the size of like, football fields, and didn’t fit on the same rack at the same time. Duh. So as I cooked the two pans, I took out the granola every five minutes to stir it. I used a rubber spatula to scrape the pan, then redispersed and flattened it back out. It seems like this might have been hard with all the goopy stuff I added. But it scraped off the pan easily. I rotated the pans between racks each time I took it out to stir.
The recipe says to cook for 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes. I let mine go for 20, with an extra stir in between. You will notice it browning up after 10 minutes, and it should be dry and crispy by the end. The coconut will be toasty and crisp and wonderful.
The recipe says to turn the granola out of the pans to cool off. I skip this step. I like my granola goddamned crispy. I let it cool in the pan and stirred it once just to be funky.
When it got cool enough to handle the pan without burning myself, I scraped the granola into a big bowl.
This is an ass-ton of granola.
Look at it. Look at the granola.
Then I added raisins, cranberries and dates. This is one of the few items where dates are appropriate and not creepy. Most all other times, dates are total Sketch City.
Again, I don’t use the quantities suggested by the recipe. I like lots of fruit because it makes the granola a meal. And it will require a lot of mastication, so by the time you’re done eating, it’s almost like you’ve exercised too. And you can go nap if you need to.
Mix your fruit in and give the granola to your most well behaved member of your household.
Dave says this is the best granola he’s ever had in his life. That is why he is my favorite.