Curious as this may seem Granola has its roots in Pennsylvania. Dr. Graham a Pennsylvanian, an American physician, naturalist and also an itinerate Presbyterian preacher (studied but never ordained) may have started the "back to nature" lifestyle before the "hippies" of the 1960's. He advocated temperance, nutrition and vegetarianism. You've probably guessed by now that he also fathered the Graham Cracker. Ultimately, Dr. Kellogg a prominent Seventh Day Adventist refined Graham's "crackers" into a cereal known as "Granula" which finally became today's "Granola."
Now, here's the really fine thread that ties me to Granola. I'm the oldest child of a Presbyterian minister, I live in Pennsylvania within 20 miles of Lancaster County.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. The variations and options to the ingredients are solely based on what's available to you and personal preference. Keep "food frolicking!"
- 1+ Children should be involved in the process, if practical. Safety first!
- 4 cups of Old-fashioned Oats (not instant)
- 1 1/2 cups of Walnuts (coursely chopped)
- 1/2 cup of Sweet Coconut (shredded)
- 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar (packed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher preferred)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil (Canola or other)
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup (any grade)
- 1/4 cup Honey (local is possible)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups of Dried Fruit (cranberries, raisins, cherries, whatever you like)
- 2 tablespoons Toasted Wheat Germ (totally optional)
- 1Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
- 2DRY: In a "large" mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, sweet coconut, brown sugar, salt, and ground cinnamon; then mix thoroughly.
- 3LIQUID: In a sauce pan whisk together vegetable oil, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla; whisk for about 5 minutes over a "low" flame. You want the liquid mixture to be room temperature when combining with the dry ingredients
- 4Pour the room temperature LIQUID ingredients into the mixing bowl containing the DRY ingredients. Mix well with your hands. Yes, that's possible or use a spoon if you must!
- 5Transfer the mixture and spread onto a 15X10 inch baking sheet (use 2 if needed)
- 6Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, carefully stirring (mixing) every 15 minutes. The cooking time is based on your color preference. I like my Granola with a nice Coopertone tan.
- 7Let cool for 5-10 minutes
- 8Add Dried Fruit, Toasted Wheat Germ (optional) and mix until distributed evenly
- 9Transfer the Granola to an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag. Store at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.