This recipe results in granola with lots of small pieces and a few larger chunks. It is intended as a snack mix or crunchy topping for oatmeal, yogurt and fruit or ice cream, so there is a high ratio of nuts to oats in this recipe. Here’s to a healthy and homemade New Year!
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricots, quartered (preferably, the softer Mediterranean apricots rather than the California style)
1 cup pecans (whole)
1 cup lightly salted, roasted cashews
1/2 cup natural almonds
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (If using an oven that cooks hot or using a convection oven or convection bake setting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.)
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. This is important to keep the granola from sticking and burning.
- Combine oats, coconut, cranberries, apricots, pecans, and almonds in a large bowl. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon (or spatula) to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- In a saucepan, combine the oil, honey and brown sugar over medium low heat. Stir until the brown sugar is melted and incorporated into the liquid mixture. Do not boil. This is only take 1-3 minutes.
- Pour the warm liquid over the oat mixture. Using the wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir the mixture until it is evenly moistened with the warm liquid.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet and spread it into an even layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on how quickly the nuts are toasting. Stir the mixture after 10 minutes and again after 20 minutes.
- After 20-25 minutes, turn the oven down to 300 degrees F. Bake for 10 minutes more. The mixture will still be moist. It will not become crunchy until it completely cools.
- Let the mixture cool for 25 minutes. Then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the granola. (See note below if you want melted chocolate.)
- When the mixture is completely cool, store in an airtight container. Enjoy!
Note: You can substitute other dried fruits for the cranberries and apricots. Just pick your favorites. You can also use any combination of nuts that you like. Just use a total of 2 cups dried fruit and 2 1/2 cups of nuts plus the coconut. To keep the salt down in this recipe, choose lightly-salted or unsalted nuts. But, if you like more salt, use salted nuts and/or add 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt to the granola mixture before baking. If you prefer the chocolate slightly melted, then sprinkle the chocolate chips on the granola after it has cooled 10 minutes (rather than 25 minutes). Then gently stir the granola leaving some bigger chunks. The chocolate will get soft. If you want to coat the granola with more of the chocolate, then gently stir it again after 5 minutes. Let the granola completely cool. If the chocolate does not harden enough, just put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before storing it.
© 2015 FoodieOasis