I have a quickie recipe for you today that would be perfect for Mother's Day or any day of the week. I'm talking about homemade granola. Most granola recipes have you bake the oat mixture in a low oven for about an hour or more, then you have to run to the oven every ten to fifteen minutes to stir it all up. And if you're anything like me you run to the oven when the annoying timer goes off, you open the oven door, pull the rack out being oh so careful to turn the mixture with the spatula only to knock the granola out of the pan and scatter all over your oven. And since it's so dang hot in there, you have to wait til the hour is up before you can clean it and you wind up with burnt little granola crispies on the bottom of your oven. Sounds like fun right? NOT.
This recipe is easy peasy and made on the stove top in a large skillet in less that 20 minutes. It comes from my bloggy friend Danelle of Let's Dish. I've made several of her recipes and I've never been disappointed in any of them. I've made this recipe three times already and enjoyed it every single time. The first time I made it with dried cranberries, the second time I used dried cherries, blueberries and banana chips for crunch and the third batch I made for my mom. She didn't want coconut so we left that out and added cashews instead of almonds. Basically you can make it any way you want by switching up the nuts and fruits and have it still turn out delicious. I especially love the unexpected addition of the sesame and sunflower seeds- don't leave those out.
My favorite way to eat it is standing in the pantry, with the door still open, and scooping out little pinchfuls of the crunchy nuggets and chewy fruit. One nibble, two nibbles, four nibbles later, then I finally dish myself up a proper serving with yogurt and I turn it into a parfait with fresh fruit. The cool and creamy, the crunchy, the chewy, the burst of fresh fruit, the nuttiness. Oh, it's just so good! You can have it as a snack, for breakfast, or dessert anytime of year. One of the best parts is that it makes a healthy amount and stays fresh in the pantry in an airtight container for weeks (if it lasts that long). You can make it now and serve it up this weekend. If you ever have overnight guests it would be a nice addition to a continental breakfast like my friend Heather of Kitchen Concoctions set up. It would also make a thoughtful gift packaged up in a jar with a pretty label and a ribbon. It's certainly not a gift I'd refuse.
- 4 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup sunflower kernels
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup dried fruit
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the honey, brown sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Add the oats, nuts, coconut, sunflower kernels and sesame seeds to the pan and stir until well coated with the butter/sugar mixture.
Continue cooking, stirring frequently until granola is a dark golden brown, 10-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in dried fruit. Pour onto a cookie sheet and allow to cool completely.