Years ago, I was not the kind of woman who made her own granola. Frankly I don't know when this happened. My college roommate, Heather? Now there is a potential granola-maker. Her professor Dad hunted his own venison and kept it in his basement freezer (while my accountant Dad kept a liter of Diet Coke on his nightstand, matching the HERS liter of the same on my mom's side. Classy). So seems like Heather would have the genes for the self-granola-ing, not I. Whelp, we both do now, comparing recipes like the super cool moms we envisioned ourselves to be one day. No venison parts in the freezer yet, but check back with me in a few years.
Like anything I make, this is absurdly easy, stays fresh for awhile and makes me look like a better version of myself when my in-laws visit. And when I add chocolate and cashew bits, my kids devour this. But I can't do that too often because then I will be the size of a house, so I often stick to the version below. Granola with craisins and shredded coconut served with coconut milk and fresh strawberries.
4 Cups Rolled Oats (make sure you buy rolled NOT instant)
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Honey (Local is great for allergies)
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
To Add as You Wish: 1/2 Cup Craisins/Raisins/Dried Fruit/Shredded Coconut/Nuts/Seeds/Herbs
Throw oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Put aside. Mix honey, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and then pour this over the oat mixture. Mix until the oats are coated with the liquid. Spread the mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir a bit, rotate pan and then continue baking for about 5 to 10 minutes more or until it looks light brown like perfect store bought granola. Take pan out and while it is cooling but still warm, add the dried fruit/nuts/seeds so that the heat of the granola seeps into the add-ons. Let all cool. Store in tupperware or glass mason jars. Serve with yogurt, local honey and fruit or pour into your palm as you run out the door on the way to my class.
**You can kinda do whatever the heck you want with granola. So if you are undecided, split your granola recipe in half and add some things to one batch and other things to the other. Eg: a sweet batch and a savory/spicy batch.**