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Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola
Any of the following ingredients may be added to the granola in balanced quantities to taste: chopped dried dates, apples, pineapples, apricots, pears or mangoes; dark raisins or golden raisins; dried cranberries, cherries or blueberries; chopped almonds, hazelnuts, raw peanuts or sunflower seeds; and/or wheat flakes or oat bran. Also try different honeys, such as lavender or orange blossom, or substitute maple syrup for the honey. When trying new additions, be sure to maintain an appealing proportion of crunchy ingredients in the final mixture.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1⁄2 cup wheat germ
  • 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1⁄4 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1⁄4 cup raw hulled green pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 cup dried currants, or to taste
  • Milk for serving
  • Sliced fresh fruit, such as nectarines, peaches,
     bananas, pears, plums, mangoes or berries,
     for serving (optional)

Directions:

Preheat a broiler. Place the broiler pan on the lowest rack.

In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, wheat germ, walnuts, sesame seeds, coconut and pumpkin seeds. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Keeping the broiler door ajar, broil, shaking the pan every 30 seconds while keeping the mixture in an even layer, until crisp and golden but not charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Watch the mixture carefully so it does not burn. Transfer to a large plate to cool, then place in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the oil, honey and cinnamon and heat until warm, about 2 minutes. Add half of the honey mixture to the granola and toss thoroughly to combine. Add just enough of the remaining honey mixture so that the granola clumps slightly but is not soupy. Stir in the currants.

Serve the granola with milk and sliced fresh fruit. Serves 4.

Note: The granola will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Breakfast, by Brigit L. Binns (Simon & Schuster, 2003).