My husband is in LOVE with this granola--maybe even a little bit more than with me, and I can't say that I really blame him. It's sweet, amazingly crunchy and chewy at the same time, full of dried apricots (his favorite) and addictively good either eaten by the handful or scattered over yogurt, cereal or ice cream--in short, it's reliable, consistent...perfect--how on earth can I compete with that?!!
Richie was not always such a big granola fan--at least not until I made this version and now he goes into the dining room every morning to retrieve the little granola-filled mason jar (I can't keep it in the kitchen or I'll take a handful whenever my eye makes contact with the jar) eats it on top of yogurt with fruit nearly every morning and has taken to carrying a little baggie of it when he travels. I've been making a batch of it for him weekly for the last couple of months now, so I guess it's high time I share this recipe with you.
Guys, it's easy to make--there's almost no hands-on time at all. The oven does most of the work--all you have to do is a little stirring and watching. You start by toasting oats, sliced almonds and coconut tossed with a little sea salt.
Meanwhile you mix together honey, maple syrup, oil and toss the oat mixture with it, returning it to the oven to bake for another half hour or so.
When that's done, you simply toss in the dried fruits--I use a combination of apricots (due to the aforementioned husband's apricot love) and dried cherries, but you could really use anything you like.
If you store it well and don't have a granola addict in your house, it should last at least two weeks, but that may only be a theory--I've never actually seen it happen! Try it out for yourself and let me know!!
Richie's Favorite Granola
Makes about 6 cups
Total Time: About 45-50 minutes (most of this is hands-off)
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (don't use the quick cooking kind)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup dried cherries (or cranberries or raisins)
1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 275ºF. On a large rimmed ungreased baking sheet, toss the oats, coconut and almonds with the salt and bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the mixture is lightly toasted but not browned. Transfer it to a large bowl.
2. Increase the oven to 350ºF and spray the baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray (or lightly grease it with oil) and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, maple syrup and honey together and pour over the mixture in the bowl. Toss to coat well and turn out onto the greased baking sheet. Spread the mixture evenly and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring several times throughout the baking process. When done, remove the sheet from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Give the granola a stir while still warm to break up the clumps. Once it's totally cool, stir in the dried fruit well. Store granola in an airtight container at room temperature. It will last at least 2 weeks.
Note: Recipe adapted from Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster.