Friday, January 2, 2009


I’m a huge fan of oatmeal, so of course I love granola. And while I can definitely chow down on a bowl of granola with dried fruits and various other forms of roughage, my favorite granola is far more basic – oats, almonds, and pecans.

Some storebought granolas are very high in fat, and while this version still has the fat from the nuts, these are good fats. But the syrup for this granola is a brown sugar and water mixture (an idea courtesy of Cooking Light), so it’s far healthier for you than mixtures that include maple syrup or oil.

My car is at the shop this afternoon, so I’m housebound, and it seems like a lovely afternoon to make a few batches of granola. (One is never enough. Especially if you start handing it out to others.) You can eat this as cereal with milk, or just dry as a snack, and it’s perfect with fruit and yogurt to make breakfast parfaits.

Makes 4-5 cups

4 c. old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick)
About ½ c. chopped pecans
About ¾ c. slivered almonds
¾ c. brown sugar
¼ c. water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. table salt

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper. (The parchment paper isn’t necessary, but it’s highly recommended. Otherwise you’ll be soaking and scraping pans all day.)

2. Combine oats and nuts in a large bowl.

3. In a small, microwavable bowl, combine sugar, water, vanilla, and salt. Microwave on high 2-3 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved and the mixture resembles maple syrup.

4. Pour syrup over oats and stir until oats and nuts are coated.

5. Divide mixture among the two pans and spread into a thin, even layer.

"Even" is so subjective.

6. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden and a bit crispy.

You can stir the mixture occasionally so that it browns more evenly and the nuts don’t burn. I also rotate my pans between oven racks a few times during the baking process. I'm paranoid.

7. Let cool completely before storing in airtight containers or resealable bags.

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