Wednesday, May 2, 2012

~ Granola ~

Makes about 8 cups
My favorite go-to granola recipe whips up quickly & is very versatile.  Substitute the walnuts for almonds (or use both), use golden raisins or dried cherries instead of currants… you get the picture. The main flavor elements here are coconut and orange, so whatever you do, make sure you don’t skip them!  It has quickly become my favorite breakfast served over yogurt and the kids enjoy it with dessert as well over ice cream.  Yum!  Enjoy! 
4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1 cup unsweetened shredded large-flake coconut
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cup dried currants
grated zest of two oranges
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup of juice from the oranges
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees with racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Set out two rimmed baking sheets.
Combine the oats, walnuts, coconut, salt, currants and orange zest in a large mixing bowl (hands work well). Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir in the maple syrup and the juice of the oranges. Wisk until thoroughly combined, then pour the maple mixture over the oat mixture and stir until everything is well coated, at least 30 seconds. Divide the mixture equally between the two baking sheets and spread into a thin layer.
Bake, stirring a couple times along the way, for about 35 to 45  minutes, or until the granola is toasty and deeply golden. You may want to rotate the pan once, top to bottom, to ensure even baking.
Remove from the oven and press down on the granola with a metal spatula–you’ll get more clumps this way. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature.