Today is a perfect day for making granola. This is the simplest but to me an intimidating task. I have never taken it on in all my years cooking. I have searched many blogs, cookbooks as well as chefs takes on it and felt at comfort with Bittman's guidelines as my best course of action. Intimidated by granola?! For few reasons.... first a mental adjustment, can't think of granola without nuts, but had to come up with nut-free version. Also never made sense the amount of 'fats' in it, although love the idea of the clumping of the granola, but isn't it supposed to be a healthy breakfast snack? Lastly, (not true completely....there is yet a fourth reason), was concerned about my toughest critics reaction to me trying to rehabilitate them from their store bought commercial breakfast cereals 'habit'. Daddy and son going and buying their 'junky' food supplies at the local supermarket ritual. It's a true challenge and undertaking, much tougher than perfecting granola. And the withdrawal begins.....
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup of mixed toasted unsalted sunflower seeds and sesame seeds
1/2 plus cup maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup shredded dry unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
Dash of salt
2-4 tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola oil (optional)1/2 plus cup dried cherries (raisins or any other dried fruit)
Line a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl except the cherries or dried fruit Add maple syrup and oil (optional) to dry ingredients and mix. Bake at 300 for about 20-30 minutes. Add cherries, raisins or currants after granola has cooked off, and prior to storing in an air tight container.
Just as I used Mark Bittman's recipe as a guideline, use this one as yours. Add any ingredients you wish and adjust sweetness level to your likings. I made this sweeter to appeal to my guys and win them over.