Just recently I've been making my own granola more, I really don't know why I didn't before. It's great, as you can control the quality of the ingredients that go into the granola, which in turn makes it amazing compared to the prepackaged store stuff. My kids have several allergies to contend with so it is often easier for me to just make my own stuff than to buy and contend with potential contamination. I found this granola recipe, seriously to no surprise from Alton Brown. My daughter recently has been getting hooked on old Good Eats episodes, so it's awesome to find gems like these and rewatch with her. Did I mention before that I got to meet him a few years back and he's got to be one of my favorite food aficionados. So thank you Mr. Alton Brown for your amazing granola recipe, as it is hands down a keeper in our book and always gets rave reviews.
3 cups rolled oats or old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup slivered almonds*
1 cup cashews*
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar (equivalent to about 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
6 tablespoons maple syrup (equivalent to 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, coconut, and dark brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup, vegetable oil or melted coconut oil, and salt. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and stir well to coat mixture evenly. Spread out the granola onto 2 large cookie sheet pans. I lined my pans with parchment paper, but I don't think it is necessary. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn and to achieve a nice brown and crunchy golden granola. Remove pans from the oven and pour granola into a large bowl and mix in any additional dried fruit or raisins. Keep stored in an airtight bag or container. This will keep for several weeks usually, if it lasts that long in your house before it is gone. :)
* Yummy note- I have swapped out these ingredients to be sunflower seeds and other dried fruit to give it crunch and variety to eliminate the nut allergy concerns. Also, this recipe can be done in a dehydrator or oven. I've done it both ways numerous times and it has worked great. If using a dehydrator, dry according to the manufacturers recommendations, but usually the granola takes about 4-5 hours to achieve desired dryness and crunchiness.