Granola is one of those foods that you can pretty much always find in my pantry. I like having it on hand to turn my morning yogurt into a legit breakfast, or to throw onto my oatmeal in the winter. I also find a quick handful of granola hits the spot when I'm craving something sweet (it's the dried fruit and brown sugar that make this work, I'm sure). Basically, I'm a big fan of granola.
Until a few months ago, I had always stocked up on granola at Sprouts; in fact, it never occurred to me to bake my own until I saw this recipe for Skinny Pumpkin Granola from Skinnytaste.com and decided to give it a try. It was so easy, so yummy, and quite pretty looking. The only problem: I can only handle so much pumpkin. So, once I'd had my pumpkin fix, I set this recipe aside and went back to my old habits...silly me.
A couple of weekends ago, I had a craving for granola while down at Tony's and found his pantry to be sadly lacking. But, inspiration struck when I realized all of the ingredients for homemade granola were in there. So, I pulled out the pumpkin granola recipe, divulged it of all pumpkin flavors, and tweaked it to a more basic granola recipe. I mixed all of the ingredients together, thre that baby in the oven, and 35 minutes later I pulled out the most delectable smelling granola.
(Erin's) Basic Granola
2 1/2 - 3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup chopped nuts*
1 cup dried fruit*
1/4 - 1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 - 1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon (+/- to taste)
pinch of salt
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and line baking pan with parchment paper.
Combine oats and quinoa; bake for 10 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine nuts, dried fruit, coconut, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Give it a stir, and then add honey. Once combined, add toasted oats and quinoa. Mix until oats and quinoa are well incorporated with other ingredients.
Spread evenly onto parchment-lined pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool before removing from pan, but keep in mind the granola will crisp up a bit as it cools.
*can use any combination of nuts and fruit. I tend to use whatever is on hand, but my current favorite is half sliced almonds, half chopped walnuts, and pomegranate flavored craisins.