Friday, December 2, 2011

Maple & Brown Sugar Granola with Almonds

Maple & Brown Sugar Granola with Almonds
18 ounces old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking and not instant)
7 to 8 ounces sweetened coconut
1 ½ to 2 cups coarsely chopped raw almonds (chopped pecans or walnuts would also be nice)
½ cup raw, untoasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoons flax seed meal
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg (freshly ground preferred)
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup real maple syrup

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two shallow pans with sides (such as shallow roasting pans or jelly roll pans) with aluminum foil; set aside.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. I like to use kitchen tongs to mix it all together (like tossing a salad).

In a microwaveable dish (I use a Pyrex measuring cup), combine the oil and maple syrup. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on High power. Stir with a whisk (it really doesn’t combine, but I try). Poor the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir well (with tongs) so that dry ingredients are lightly coated. Divide the granola onto the lined pans. Bake for approximately 25 minutes; stirring approximately every 8 minutes.

Stirring is very important! The granola will start to burn on the bottom due to the sugars especially as the granola is close to being done. Your nose (and eyes) are a good gauge. If the granola is suddenly becoming very fragrant, chances are it’s time to stir. Don’t just peek in the oven because you can’t see what happening in the very back of the oven. Be on the safe side and double check. Burnt granola as not as yummy as lightly toasted granola.

I let the granola cool on in the pans for awhile and then I lift the foil out of the pans and allow the granola to cool on the counter top until I could package it up (gallon sized zip close plastic bags or rubber storage container with tight fitting lid).

Delicious with milk… almost like dessert over vanilla yogurt!
Also makes a nice Hostess Gift or a last minute holiday gift this time of year...

Enlarged to show texture.  :)

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