Whole Lotta Granola

We are a family of cooks (or at least merely interested in food) and we are now into our fourth generation of foodies. Though I published this recipe on the More Than One More Day blog, my niece requested this recipe again. When I made it two Christmases ago, I gave it all away as Christmas goodies and everyone raved about it. It’s the best granola recipe I ever tasted and it smells up the house with a wonderful cinnamon scent. Eat well, Asha!

Ingredients:

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans or pine nuts)
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconuts (I never include this)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
4 T unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins or chopped apricot or dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries or cherries (or combination)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Directions:

In a large bowl stir together oats, almonds, (coconut), seeds, nuts, cinnamon and salt.  In a small saucepan melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring.  Add vanilla and pour butter over oat mixture and stir until combined well.

On a large baking sheet, spread the granola evenly in a thin layer.  Bake, stirring every 5 minutes to keep from sticking or burning, until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.  (Do not overcook, the granola will crisp more when cooled.)  Cool the granola in the pan on top of the stove and stir in dried fruit.  Granola can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Serve at room temperature in a bowl with milk or as a snack.

Variation:

Serve in a parfait glass with plain low-fat yogurt drizzled with honey and berries.

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