by Karin Calloway
Homemade granola isn’t difficult to prepare, and it’s a morning treat that is appreciated by my family and weekend guests alike. My version is sweetened with brown sugar and good maple syrup, and it receives added crunch from slivered almonds and salted sunflower seeds.
A combination of dried cherries and cranberries replace the usual raisins. And vanilla and ground cinnamon add just the right finishing touch. Vanilla extract can be stirred into the melted butter in the recipe, but I much prefer the flavor of the granola when I sprinkle it with powdered vanilla, available at gourmet and specialty food shops, instead.
This granola is delicious served in the morning with cold milk, or as a crunchy snack later in the day. It’s also delicious folded into your favorite banana muffin recipe – adding extra flavor and crunch.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup plain or honey nut flavored wheat germ
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or powdered vanilla
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Fold together rolled oats, wheat germ, butter, vanilla, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon in a large bowl. Pour out onto a large, shallow baking sheet and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden throughout, about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir nuts and dried fruit into the granola and cool completely on the baking sheet. When cool, break granola into pieces and store in an airtight container or zip-top plastic bag.
Makes 12 servings.