We've been going for some really nice walks around the neighbourhood lately. There are still some warmish days left and we have been taking full advantage with the knowledge that winter isn't too far away from rearing it's chilly head.
I really love our area, with it's interesting gardens, old houses, and mix of people. It tends to attract tree-hugging, recycling, nature-loving, bike-riding, lawnmower pushing, Birkenstock-wearing granola types. So, the other day when making granola, I thought to myself "How appropriate!". I don't know whether I came here because I was attracted to this earth loving lifestyle, or whether it has rubbed off on me, but either way, I feel at home here.
So pull those dusty Birk's out from the back of the closet and get in the kitchen to make this yummy and healthy granola! Then, while you're waiting for it to bake, go hug a tree!
Preheat oven to 225 F.
7 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup whole almonds (chop them or leave them whole, whichever you prefer)
1/2 cup flax seeds
Mix these together and set aside.
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup agave syrup or honey
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
Whisk these ingredients together in a small bowl, then pour over the oat mixture and combine until everything is moistened. Spread into a cookie sheet as evenly as possible. Pop into the oven and bake for about 1 hour, stirring it around once or twice during that time.
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped, dried apricots
When you take the granola out of the oven after one hour, add the dried fruit and give it a stir. Put it back into the oven for about 20 minutes. Leave to cool on the counter then store in an airtight container.
Please have fun with this recipe! You can add any dried fruit, nut or seed. Try sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chopped dried figs, dried cherries, hazelnuts, whatever tickles your fancy! Chocolate chips or chunks make a great addition once it's cool.
This granola is so good over plain yogurt drizzled with honey; with soy, almond or cow's milk; or just straight out of your hand.