In Search of the Perfect Granola

imageOn a day-to-day basis, my breakfast and lunch regime is pretty boring. I have to be out of the house by 7 a.m. to get to the high school where I teach. I get approximately 20 minutes to eat lunch, and do a myriad of other things that teachers try to accomplish on their lunch "break". Therefore, what I wolf down in the morning has to not only make me happy, give me fuel, but also be convenient. A few years ago, I started eating granola for breakfast. I sampled various brands, but I always found the store-bought brands, even the many niche, health food store brands, too sweet. (Also, and I'm a bit embarrassed to mention this, the store-bought brands, for whatever reason, sometimes gave me gas.) Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised, while staying at the darling Nantucket Youth Hostel, that granola is VERY easy to make, and even easier to customize. Nantucket, MA Youth Hostel Since that fortuitous encounter, I've dreamed of quitting my day job, opening up a tiny "Granola Jo" shop and living happily ever after making people happy, eating nutritious, healthy granola. But now I'm getting ahead of myself. Below is not the Nantucket granola recipe that I first fell in love with, but one that I found in a travel magazine and have since tweaked to fit my taste buds. I have made this granola for my family, friends and colleagues and everytime I give it to someone new, man or woman, they request the recipe. A brother of a friend even said he wanted to marry me after tasting my granola... And he had never met me! Yes, this granola is THAT good. I make a new batch of this granola every week and a half and it takes about 45 minutes including baking time. IMG_1448 Coconut-Pistachio Granola Makes about 6 cups 3 cups rolled oats (or gluten-free oats) 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips ½ - 1 cup shelled pistachios ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds 1 teas. sea salt or less a pinch of cinnamon ⅓ cup maple syrup ½ cup brown sugar (I only use ¼ cup or skip it completely) ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil ¾ cup dried raisins or craisins or sour cherries (optional) Preheat oven to 300 F. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the oats, coconut, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, salt and cinnamon. Mixing ingredients In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the brown sugar, maple syrup, and olive oil until the sugar is just dissolved. IMG_1450 Fold into the oat mixture, coating all of the dry ingredients as evenly as possible. Spread out onto a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment baking paper. IMG_1452 Bake until dry and lightly golden, for 20-40 minutes, stirring the granola after 15 minutes to allow for even baking and drying. IMG_1453 Remove from the oven and fold in the dried fruit. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to individual jars. IMG_1601

2 thoughts on “In Search of the Perfect Granola

  1. OMG….Is that where that delicious recipe is from!? Remember when we were there for the triathlon we saw the guy making a batch in the kitchen? I’ve been saving my empty jar from the last batch you gave me so I could beg for more!!

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