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Basic Granola

  I've been getting tired of time-consuming oatmeal for breakfast, so I'm always on the lookout for quick or prep-able breakfast things that last me awhile, and taste good.  This granola is awesome for many reasons: it's delicious, it's not the sodium-sugar-filled boxed stuff, it's super-easy to whip up on a weeknight, and you can do almost anything you want with it.

   Currently my mind and schedule has not been my own.  As much as I love homeschooling and its many benefits, it's sometimes just downright hard.  This is true for almost anything, public/private/whatever school.  But that's where I'm at right now, a little befuddled.  And slightly saddened, my sisters leave for their individual colleges this weekend, and it will be awfully quiet around here.

  But life goes on, eh?  Maybe things will ease up a bit soon, and I will be able to make time for creativity and friends when Advanced Math isn't holding me hostage three hours at a time.  
  Another note on this granola: I added the nuts separately due to my nut-finicky sisters.  I just toasted them and also threw in 2/3 cup of peanuts, mainly for my father's enjoyment.  This is lovely with milk or over Greek yogurt (my preference), especially cherry!  Chocolate chips are also advisable, you can say that you had cherries and chocolate for breakfast :) 
  Now if you'll excuse me, I must join my family as we enjoy our last night.

Basic Granola
Yield: about 14 cups

  • 2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 6 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed, or wheat germ (optional)
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Place a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the coconut to the pan in an even layer and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and toasted.  Transfer to a small bowl and carefully wipe out the pan.  Return the pan to the heat and add the chopped walnuts and almonds.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes (toast them a wee bit longer and set them aside if making as a separate option).  Stir in the oats and canola oil and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the oat mixture to a large bowl and stir in the honey, ground flaxseed or wheat germ (if using), cinnamon, and salt.  Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.  Bake, stirring every few minutes, until the granola is light golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and stir in the toasted coconut.  Move the granola to one side of the baking sheet and press gently into a thick slab.  Let cool to room temperature.  Break the dried and cooled granola into small clusters and store in an airtight container.

Sources: adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook