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Crunchy, Nutty Homemade Granola

Our kitchen counter always has a jar of homemade granola. It’s perfect not only for breakfast (layered, preferably, with yogurt and berries) but for snacking – for munching out of hand when that afternoon lull hits, when I walk back in the door from a walk or run, or for packing in snack-sized bags to take with me to work or the gym. Store-bought granolas are often delicious – depending where they come from – but are often expensive. Here’s a basic recipe you can adapt to suit your taste – add whatever nuts and seeds you like best, and dried fruit if you want it; if not, leave it out.

This really is one of the best formulas to have in your kitchen repertoire; it can be pulled into service not only for weekday breakfasting, lunching and snacking, but for unexpected company and weekend brunches. It’s made with whole ingredients and has staying power. It’s one of my most well-used recipes.

Crunchy, Nutty Homemade Granola

5 cups old-fashioned (large flake) oats
1-2 cups chopped, sliced or slivered nuts (such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or a combination)
1/2 cup seeds (such as pumpkin, sunflower, flax or sesame, or a combination)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. water
1 cup dried fruit (such as raisins, dried cranberries, cherries or chopped figs or apricots – optional)

Preheat oven to 325F. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, cinnamon and salt.

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, honey, oil and water and heat, stirring, until everything is melted. Pour over the oat mixture and toss until well mixed.

Spread out onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add the dried fruit, if you’re using it, and let cool. Store in a tightly sealed container. Makes lots.

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