My friend Tammy asked me for a granola recipe, but not just any granola. She wanted it to taste like the granola she had eaten on her yogurt while staying at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky this summer. She described it as very crunchy with a brown sugar taste. I checked a lot of recipe sources, but I was most inspired by a recipe and an article by Pam Anderson for USA WEEKEND. According to Pam, as long as you stick to a master recipe, you can customize the extra ingredients to suit your personal preferences.
Here's the version that I made today.
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup dried cherries, diced
Adjust oven rack to middle position, and preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray, set aside. In a large bowl, mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and walnuts. In a small saucepan, mix together honey, oil, and water; bring to a simmer. Drizzle liquid mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Working a handful at a time, squeeze cereal to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven. Stir in dried cherries, continue to bake for 15 minutes longer until golden brown. Let cool. Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
These are the ingredients that I chose to give my granola its crunch.
Both brown sugar and honey give the granola its sweetness. Molasses or maple syrup could be substituted for the honey if you like one of those flavors better.
After the dry and liquid ingredients have been mixed, pour the mixture onto the prepared pan.
Squeeze the cereal a handful at a time to form small clumps. Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven.
Fruit is optional in granola, but I decided to add dried cherries to mine. Other options could be raisins, golden raisins, banana chips, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried pears, dried dates, or dried mangoes. Add the fruit last, and bake 15 minutes longer after fruit is added.
Remove from oven and let cool.
This granola is good all by itself . . .
. . . or my favorite way, as a crunchy topping for yogurt and fruit.