I have no problem declaring myself an expert, even when I don’t have the credentials to back it up.
Which is why I’m dubbing myself a Granola Goddess. It seems fitting, yes?
Good, I think so too and I like it when we’re on the same page. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Sure, sure, we could pretend I earned my degree at the University of Oats and Nuts, along with all the other granola loving hippies out there. I’m certainly not opposed to living in some mental fantasy land, complete with unicorns, rainbows and kittens. Heck, blissful ignorance is one of my favorite defense mechanisms. (Really I’m not pregnant; I’m just big-boned).
The truth is though I attended the School of Hard Knocks, also known as Catholic School. Those nuns knew how to use a ruler, and I don’t mean for measuring; hard knocks indeed. They also didn’t teach me a thing about granola. I feel gypped.
Thankfully, my baby brother picked up some tools of the granola making trade in the most unusual of locations, which is neither here nor there and his story to tell, not mine. The important thing though is he shared his tips and techniques, and in exchange I gifted him with my wit and charm, pretending of course he doesn’t already ooze both in spades. Everybody loves my little brother; he’s one of those people.
Whatever the case may be, I took the lovely lad’s basic granola recipe, got comfortable and ran with it quicker than a one-legged man in a pie eating contest. I realize my analogy makes little to no sense; again, I hold those nuns responsible.
Since that fateful moment years ago, I’ve crafted and created at least ten of my own granola recipes of various flavors and textures, Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip, Lemon Blueberry, Savory Parmesan Rosemary to name just a few. This newest addition to the family though, well it might be my most eclectic one yet. It might be one of those granolas.
Quite simply, it’s a party in your mouth.
It’s also a clean out your pantry type recipe too, which for us OCD folks makes this a party in your mind as well.
It was born out of my need to reduce the amount of clutter in one of my food drawers, which was suddenly running rampant. I’m not sure when he got so unwieldy (of course it’s a He), but I knew it was time to put him in check, so I surveyed the multitude of supplies with a skeptical eye. I had nuts and oats galore (Costco sized bags will do that to you), pretzels, pepitas, brown rice cereal, sesame seeds, dried fruit and chocolate up the ying-yang, not literally, of course.
After a quick study, I came to one conclusion: I needed to make the ultimate batch of granola: a Sweet and Salty Trail Mix Granola designed to knock your socks off, or at least give you piece of mind with a whole ‘lotta mouth feel. This recipe does just that. It has a bit of bite, a toss of chew, and a crisp of crackle. It’s sweet one second and salty the next. Oh and did I mention it’s ridiculously healthy?
Yep, it’s the cats pajamas, and there I go again with the strange analogies. Pfft, those nuns.
- 3 cups Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup unsalted Sunflower Seeds
- 1/2 cup unsalted Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 cup unsalted Almonds, roughly chopped
- 1 cup unsalted Walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted Pistachios
- 1 cup salted Pretzels, roughly chopped
- 1 cup crispy Rice Cereal (I used Brown Rice Cereal)
- 1/2 cup sweetened Coconut
- 4 Tbsp. Flax Powder or Wheat Germ
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil or Canola Oil; I used organic Canola Oil.
- 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup Raisins
- 1/2 cup Cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried Pineapple, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips
- Preheat over to 350, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine dry ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly (from the rolled oats through to the cinnamon).
- Add in vanilla extract and your oil of choice. Mix to coat everything. Add in the maple syrup, stirring to coat everything once more.
- Once combined, spoon mixture onto a baking sheet. Leave clumped together. Do not spread out on the baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
- Once cool, add in dried fruit and chocolate.
- Will keep in an airtight container for several weeks.
- This granola is not an exact science so feel free to mix and match your ingredients. The idea is to get a variety of flavors, tastes and textures so make whatever substitutions your pantry dictates.
What’s your most beloved recipe, and where did you originally learn to make it?