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your best homemade granola recipe

Hi all, I am looking for a great granola recipe. I have never made granola and always buy it and am sure homemade is better ( and cheaper too). No dietary restrictions so anything will do. I look forward to your ideas!

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  1. From a Sunset Magazine cookbook:

    MEDFORD OATS

    8 cups regular rolled oats
    1-1/2 C. wheat germ
    1-1/2 C firmly packed light brown sugar
    1 large package (8 oz) shredded coconut
    1-1/2 C. roasted salted cashews

    1/2 C. vegetable oil
    2 t. vanilla
    ¾ C. honey

    1-1/2 C. dry fruit, chopped as needed (optional)

    In large bowl, stir together oats, wheat germ, sugar, coconut, and cashews. Set aside.
    In small pan over medium heat, combine oil, honey, and vanilla. Cook, stirring, until bubbly. Pour over oat mixture and mix thoroughly.

    Grease two 10x15 (or larger) rimmed baking pans (or use silicon or parchment). Spread mixture evenly in pans. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, stirring two or three times, or until coconut is lightly browned.

    Stir granola in pans several times while cooling (otherwise it clumps). Let cool thoroughly, then stir in dried fruit if using. Store in airtight container.

    Yield: 16 cups.

    Notes: This makes a lot. I typically makes ¾’s of the recipe. When I’ve made the full recipe, it has taken longer—up to 40 minutes—to bake. It may depend on your oven, the size of pans, etc. So you may have to experiment with times. When I bake two pans at a time, I switch the pans midway through the baking.

    Other nuts or shelled sunflower seeds can be used. Whole, roasted, salted almonds are good, as are pecans and walnuts. Dates, raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, etc. can be used for the fruit in any combination. Dates, however, tend to be moister than other dried fruit and can make the granola less crisp.

    1 Reply
    1. I use the recipe from USA Weekend, which is very similar to PAOs recipe from Sunset Magazine, although the cook time/temps are different. Key things to remember are to use old-fashioned rolled oats (the quick cooking type don't work) and to bake the granola low and slow. Here's the link: www.usaweekend.com/06_issues/060226/0...

      11 Replies
      1. re: Niki in Dayton

        niki, do you think Steel cut oats would work?

        1. re: cassoulady

          Yes, I've made it with steel cut oats and loved it! I vary the fruits and nuts depending upon what I've got handy and who I'm making it for (I'm now the granola supplier for my in-laws, and they have various preferences). My personal favorite has slivered almonds, dried cherries, and chopped dried apricots.

        2. re: Niki in Dayton

          Why don't the quick cooking kind work? I have some McCann's Irish quick cook oats that I'd love to use up. Thanks!

          1. re: MMRuth

            McCann's is my go-to for granola and I've never had a problem.

            If you are in need of a recipe, Ina Garten's is very good. I use it as a base, but cook at 300-325 instead of 350, and stir often. I also wait about 15 minutes to add the nuts so that they don't burn.

            The recipe seems to have an error. It says to mix the cherries in at the beginning...don't add any fruit until the granola has finished cooking...it will burn and be inedible! Lots of dried fruit works well in this recipe.

            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

            1. re: bear

              Thanks - I just made a batch using her recipes as a guide, along with another one. I think mine did get a little browner than it should. I used old fashioned rolled oats, blanched slivered almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, some coconut, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, sea salt and vegetable oil. I then add some raisins and chopped dried figs and apricots. We'll see if my husband likes it - I don't really eat it, but thought it was silly for him to spend ten dollars on these little bags of granola!

              1. re: bear

                I've had good success with her recipe as well. I also add wheat germ, and lower the temperature too.

              2. re: MMRuth

                Here's what the lady on the USA weekend site says about the difference between regular and quick: For the best results, reach for old-fashioned (not quick) oats, which will bake into crisp, golden granola. Cereal made with quick oats clusters better, but the texture is powdery, not crisp, and it tastes of raw starch.

                That said, I've never actually tried making granola with quick oats. I keep old-fashioned in the house, so used those. And I've read this thread with interest, because I never tried any other recipes after finding this one. This made the kind of granola that I like, so I didn't look any further....

                1. re: Niki in Dayton

                  Thanks - I might give the quick ones a try next time, thuogh raw starch taste doesn't sound appealing. My granola did not clump up at all - not sure why.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    I have never had my homemade granola clump, but the poster gordeaux offered a tip on getting clumps, summarized here http://www.chow.com/home_cooking_dige... (click on the thread linked at the bottom for gordeaux's more detailed descripyion).

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      I get plenty of clumps; as instructed in the recipe I posted the link to, the key is to squeeze small handfuls of granola together before baking it (after adding the liquids). One's hands get quite sticky, but it works well. My husband sometimes helps make granola, and his hands are bigger than mine; his clumps are too big for my preference so I'm continually reminding him "SMALL handfuls, dear, SMALL handfuls" ;-)

                      1. re: Niki in Dayton

                        I think adding in the 1/2 cup of cream of wheat does wonders for clumping.

              3. Ina Garten has one that sounds fabulous -- you can find it on FoodTV.
                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                1. rolled oats, the brn sugar, honey, vanilla and oil are the main ingredients. I think the secret ingredient is sesame seeds. I dislike coconut so I don't use it. slivered almonds are very good. I think toasting at 350 is required for browning and carmelization of the nuts and other ingredients, at lower temps it just doesn't happen and it is not nearly as good. You do need to watch it a little closer for burning than you would at lower temps. The biggest problem is that it is so addictive it disappears way too fast.

                  1. another poster put up the same query today, posting same response to you that I posted to that poster:

                    here's a couple of threads to get you started:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/505811
                    http://www.chow.com/home_cooking_dige...
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/281477
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/437809
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/465919
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/407462

                    and here's a link to the other thread posted today asking for granola recipes:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602574