Friday, August 24, 2012
Making granola is as simple as mixing together a bunch of ingredients and then baking them for 45 minutes. I often keep all of the ingredients needed for granola in my pantry, so the most difficult part (for me) is finding all the ingredients, since I always have to hunt for the nuts or seeds that end up in the back of a cupboard. I buy almonds, cashews, and thickly grated coconut from an Indian grocery called "India Cash & Carry" since they have amazing quality spices and nuts for really cheep prices. You can substitute nearly any dried fruits, raw nuts, or raw seeds that you like.
My granola is based on the "Double Coconut Granola" recipe from "Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make" by Melissa Clark again. Modifications I made to the recipe: Instead of just pecans I used 1 cup of a mix of raw pecans, raw pistachio, and raw almonds, and I coarsely chopped (or rather hammered into coarse peaces) 1/2 cup raw pecans and 1/4 cup raw almonds. I only put 3/4 tsp salt instead of the recommended 1 tsp. I doubled the amount of cinnamon (so I put in 1 tsp cinnamon), and used regular brown raisins instead of dried cherries. I use thickly grated coconut (non-sugared); if you only have thinly grated coconut, then you should only add it in the last 10 minutes of baking. I used palm sugar from Thailand instead of light brown sugar, since I just bought the palm sugar and I wanted to see what it tastes like. It adds a nice subtle caramel and butterscotch taste.
You can halve this recipe if you want to make a smaller amount. This time I made a full batch (3 cups of rolled oats); only half the batch is pictured though--the other half is in a different baking dish. I used non-cast iron dishes, since last time I made granola, I found the cast iron browned the granola too quickly.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw nuts, a mix of your choosing (e.g. pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews)
3/4 cup of coarsely chopped or hammered nuts*
1 cup thickly grated coconut (non-sugared)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil (you can substitute olive oil)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar or lightly packed grated palm sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal brand
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup raisins, preferably golden but regular raisins are okay (or any other dried fruit you like)
(optional) dash of vanilla extract
(optional) handful of candied ginger
Preheat oven to 300 F.
* To make the coarsely "chopped" nuts, I put all the nuts in a clean plastic bag, and use a kitchen hammer to break them up. If you want to use a mix of chopped nuts, then each nut should be pounded separately, since they have different hardness.
If you are using palm sugar, then you should dissolve the palm sugar in the maple syrup first.
In a large bowl or in your baking dish, combine all ingredients. Spread out the granola evenly across the baking dish; you may need to use two baking dishes.
Bake until golden all over, about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.