Simple Oat & Nut Granola
Time: 30 Minutes
Yield: 8-9 Cups
Gluten & Dairy Free Recipe
6 cups Organic gluten-free oats (old fashioned or quick cooking)
1 cup Slivered Organic Almonds, unsalted
1 cup Organic Sunflower Seeds, unsalted
1/2 cup Organic Walnuts, unsalted (optional for adding additional omega 3′s)
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup Organic Peanut Butter (or substitute your favorite nut butter)
1 -2 Cups Organic Vegan Cane Sugar (Depending on how sweet you want)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
You should have a nicely coated mixture now stirring until every bit of oatmeal and nuts have the coating on them. Your mixture will look shiny now that it is all coated and distributed evenly. If you have non stick spray go ahead and use it on your baking sheets. I used glass pyrex as that is what I have but any large oven safe baking dish works.
Spread the granola mixture onto the two baking sheets from edge to edge. You are looking for an even layer not too thick. The thicker the less golden the granola will get and the longer it will take to cook. Bake for 15 minutes and carefully remove the pans from the oven to toss and stir the oats. This will ensure that the mixture cooks and browns evenly. Bake for another 10 minutes until golden. Depending on your oven it may need a few more minutes to get golden granola color.
If you have more mixture left just fill the baking dish again and repeat the cooking steps until mixture has cooked a total of 30 minutes and the oats are dark and golden, remove to cool. Allow to cool completely before eating so you don’t get burned. I take each batch and add it to a large cooling bowl mixing it around so that all of the batches mix together. Some are more golden some less. It makes for a nice mixture. Then I take it and store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.
Should you desire to add any dried fruit you can add it after it cools. Cranberries, raisins, currants, or dried apple work great, or any other favorite dried fruit. I cut it up into small pieces if I add any. It is also delicious just plain as well. You can also add any other nuts, or substitute your favorite nuts into the recipe. If you have certain nuts on hand they will work well also. If you cannot find or afford organic nuts, find the unsalted versions. Organic raw unsalted are the best choice if you can, unsalted standard are second best.
You can also cut the recipe in half for less granola at a time to keep the cost down per batch. Keep in mind that depending on the size of your baking sheet you may need to do more then 2 trays to complete all the mix. If you have a smaller baking sheet it may take several runs but just repeat the cooking instructions until all the mix is finished. You can also prepare some of it now and save the rest in the fridge to cook later. Have fun and enjoy it. We love this as a sweet snack or treat, and also as a breakfast cereal.
Baking Dish Types:
I have used large pyrex, baking sheet, casserole oven safe dish and most recently pie pans. They all work the same. The smaller your dish and the thinner your spread the darker the granola gets. Find out how you like it best and achieve the color you desire. You only need it cooked for the 30 minutes but you may find you prefer it lighter then darker or the opposite. There is no wrong way just a preference based on you and what you have on hand.
About the Ingredients Used:
I picked up the oats from whole foods bulk bins. The oats were on sale for $.69 cents per lb. Of course you can pick them up anywhere you can get them for the best rates. Typically the bulk bins are substantially less then the pre-packaged. With the other ingredients I picked up the 365 brand nuts from Whole Foods which were less then the bulk bins. Trader Joe’s also has some great prices on their brand nuts to keep the cost down. The sugar, peanut butter and olive we worked with were also Whole Foods 365 brand. Of course you can also pick these up at Trader Joe’s for a little less if you have one near by. If you have a Farmer’s Market near you may want to price the nuts if you have a nut vendor some areas have nuts for sale and you can save big on repeat shopping.Checking for sales will keep your costs down. I find we can make double the amount of the store brand with better ingredients, less cost and no waste of packaging.
This granola is a WINNER and we now make it once a week, every sunday for the week ahead. It has been an all time favorite after dinner treat instead of the highly processed expensive dessert treats around. The kids and husband just LOVE it and eat it whenever they want as a sweet treat. As we used olive oil and supplemented it with walnuts they are getting the healthy fats with great protein. It travels well and makes a great on the go snack for the whole family.
Granola as a Gift:
Friends and neighbors always look forward to getting granola gifts. I pick up the kerr jars and it packages up nicely with a bow and makes a perfect hand made gift for friends and family. Beware once you make it for others they will want more for sure. I reserve it for holidays and special occasions. Adding dried fruit or chocolate can add some nice color to it when making it for gift giving.