Help me vary my granola recipe?
I like my basic granola recipe, but am interested in suggestions on ways to vary it, since I've been making it for a while and am about to make a large quantity in preparation for maternity leave.
Currently, I bake/toast oats w/ a very small amount of brown sugar/molasses/honey, a little oil, and enough water or juice to let me mix it all together. I usually use a touch of vanilla, cinnamon, and sometimes cardamom, along with nuts (usually almonds), and sometimes some filler in the form of wheat germ, oat bran, etc. I then add dried or fresh fruit at serving.
Any interesting ideas on ways to vary the flavors a bit? I do so already with the fruit and sometimes by varying the nuts, but I'm interested in others' favorite additions or other ways to switch it up.
When I make granola with almonds I often add almond extract instead of vanilla. The almond flavor really comes through. I also have had success using canned pumpkin added to the wet stuff. This is especially good with pecans and cranberries and maple syrup. I have also used apple cider, apple juice or cranberry juice. All are good and give a different flavor.
I like maple syrup for adding sweetness and flavor. Maple and orange juice is a good combo. I like to add sunflower seeds along with the nuts.
I put a little cinnamon in my last bach of granola. I always like the dried granolas and the ground flax. Nutmeg and salt sound like good additions.