It's been a busy month; I mean the one that is over-though this one shows no sign of letting up. August found me helping my folks with getting ready for the big move and then the in laws arrived pulling the 5th wheel. At the age of 82 they are still enjoying the ride-so to speak. Well, they pulled out today and now I feel like I'm 82. I apologize for not keeping up with all my buds in cyberspace and plan on relaxing and reading about some good food in the next few days.
Meanwhile...I never thought I'd be sharing a recipe for granola; but I guess one can't have a blog without a recipe for granola. At least from what I've seen. It seems everyone who's anyone has a recipe for granola and many have more than one. I've not been one to make granola, at least until this year. I saw this recipe and those pictures and felt compelled to make this right away. Which I did. And I've done. Like way more than once. Yes, this recipe may not make me a granola head, but my head sure knows the recipe by heart.
I remember when making granola and homemade yogurt used to be part of everyone's repertoire- at least the repertoire of college campuses in the 70's. I never got into it back then and always partook of the few ready made varieties. Of course I could have gone into the few health food stores and dipped the scoop into a bin and probably met a few granola heads on the way. But I didn't. I liked pizza and beer too much; which meant I didn't eat breakfast too early. But I did make a pretty good gorp with lots of M and M's for our weekend hikes; probably using Quaker Oats granola out of the box.
So what finally made me cross the bridge into granola land? I have no idea. But I'm glad I did. And anyone that has tasted this, is glad I did, too! A few weeks ago, which seems like forever, I brought this up to the mountains to eat for breakfast. We had been invited to spend a weekend with friends and I offered to bring up some breakfast food. I did bring some awesome scones, which I'll supply you with later, and some great home made jams. Plus this granola. Which we ate for breakfast. And which we ate by the handful while walking out the door with another handful when walking in the door. It's good granola and I'm not one to wax eloquently about oats, even though I like them.
At home manservant does not allow this on the counter. But weekends in the mountains do not count. Most call this granola addicting. In fact, I could probably name this crack granola, which I might, and it would be true. It is addicting. You might think it odd that it contains salt. Think again. The combination of salty and sweet is what makes this so over the top. I kid you not. You could decrease the salt, but then it becomes a bit mundane. Ordinary. Just granola. At least in my humble opinion, which is very humble indeed. Throw in your favorite combo of dried fruit (of which mine are apricots and cherries) and you have granola that is fit for a king and queen. In my humble opinion... as the queen of this space. Just sayin'.
Almost Crack Granola (adapted from 11 Madison Park)
Yield: About 5-6 cups (But I always double this and use two cookie sheets)
Time: About 15 minutes active; about 30-40 minutes baking
2 3/4 c oats
1 c nuts (I use sliced almonds)
1/3 c pepitas
1/4 c chia seeds
2-3 t coarse salt
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c maple syrup
1/3 c olive oil
1/2 c sliced dried apricots
1/2 c dried cherries
1/2 c golden or dark raisins
Preheat oven to 300. Stir oats, nuts, pepitas, chia seeds and salt in a large bowl. Heat brown sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil in a large measuring cup in microwave for about 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves. Pout over oat mixture in mixing bowl and stir well.
Place on a parchment lined 15 x 10 jelly roll pan and pat into one layer. Bake at 300 for about 30-40 minutes, stirring as necessary until light to dark gold, (your choice) however the less you stir the more clusters this will make. When baked to your liking, remove from oven. Sprinkle and lightly press dried fruit on top of granola but do not stir it in. Wait until this cools and then break into pieces while mixing in fruit.
Feel free to mix up your fruit/nut combo. The original recipe also contains coconut flakes. Imagine that with macadamias and dried pineapple. Hmm. Time for a new batch!
P.S. don't forget to enter the Whole Foods giveaway!
More ways to get some oats: