In my battered yet beloved recipe notebook, where I’ve been keeping track of borrowed and invented recipes for over twenty years, there are several entries for granola. Clearly it’s a thing for me, but I had never found the one. After years of experimenting with granolas that were too sticky, too oily, too dry and just not good enough, I finally hit on this one. It’s so easy and turns out crisp and sweet but not gooey (just right!). It’s wonderful with plain yogurt, milk or almond milk, but I also pack it as is for an on-the-go snack. This is also my go-to hostess gift, packed into a mason jar and tied with a little ribbon. I’ve included weights here because I find weighing speeds up the prep.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stir the oats with the pecans, pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the canola oil with the maple syrup (if using honey, microwave for 30 seconds if it’s too solid to whisk) and vanilla (if using), then pour it over the oat mixture. Stir until all the oat flakes are coated.
- Tip the mixture onto the prepared pan and spread it into a thin, even layer. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, giving it a really good stir every 10 or 15 minutes. The granola should be golden and toasty, but not too dark brown. Keep a close eye on it during the last 10 minutes, as it can over-toast quickly.
- Let it cool on the baking sheet, then stir in the dried fr Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days.
MAKE AHEAD: Freeze granola, minus the dried fruit, in resealable plastic bags for up to 3 months. Add the fruit when you serve it.
BATCH COOKING: This recipe doubles well. Use two pans instead of one and switch them around in the oven halfway through baking.
SWITCH IT UP: For a different but equally yummy variation, add ¼ teaspoon each of ground cardamom, ground ginger and nutmeg, and use almond extract in place of the vanilla.
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