In a bowl for breakfast, added to yogurt or sprinkled over your ice cream, granola is a healthy treat that almost everyone loves. But unless you make it at home, this delicious staple isn't possible for people who are insulin-challenged.
Don't worry, my sugar-full friends! The recipe below allows for regular sweetener, too.
I hemmed and hawed about making this for a couple of years. Really--at least two years! I was worried that by using sugar-substitutes it would taste... funny. You know what I mean. I also had the idea that it was a difficult process, that it needed a lot of babysitting... oh, how wrong I was. Granted, homemade granola require a little bit of hands-on, but every good thing does, right? The most involved part is taking it out of the oven after 25 minutes and turning it.
One method that I read said to pack it in one 13x9 pan, then invert the whole mess onto another pan. I presumed, incorrectly, that it would come out in one big slab. Not so--but I do recommend this method anyway, because you're more assured of getting it all turned over than if you were to just stir it. But either way, it's easy. Really easy.
This is also very customizable. Don't like coconut? Leave it out. Prefer cashews to almonds? An easy switch--or leave the nuts out altogether if that's your fancy. Replace the raisins with any other dried fruit you like. Maple syrup switches easily with honey or agave nectar, too. And of course you can adjust the spices to your hearts content.
Of course it can also be made sugar-full; the recipe below provides for both options.
Combine in a large bowl:
- 2-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup dry oat bran cereal (may also use wheat bran, flax meal or other item of your choice; may be omitted)
- 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar or sugar substitute (I used substitute)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- few scrapes freshly ground nutmeg
In a microwave-safe container, melt:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon orange marmalade (I used fruit-sweetened ginger-orange marmalade; optional)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup, agave nectar or honey (I used sugar-free "maple" syrup)
If using marmalade, heat for another 20 seconds on high to melt marmalade; stir to combine well. If not using marmalade, skip to next step.
Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and mix until fully incorporated and moistened. There should be no dry bits. Spread oat mixture into an oiled 13x9 (or so) pan and bake in a preheated 325*F oven for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from oven and invert onto a larger (also oiled) rimmed pan, such as a sheet pan. If mixture sticks to first pan, use a spoon or spatula to get it out. The key here is to keep any stray bits from getting away from the main mass of granola. You don't want those to burn.
Return oats to oven for another 15 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Some pieces might look a bit more brown than others--don't worry, that's okay. Remove from oven and set aside to cool fully and dry out for 2 hours.
In a large mixing bowl, combine:
- 1 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened; optional)
- 1-1/2 cups sliced almonds or sliced/chopped nuts of your choice
- 1 cup raisins or dried fruit of your choice
Add cooled granola and gently mix to distribute evenly. Transfer to an air-tight container. Store at room temperature for up to 1 week.