Best. Granola. Ever.
I've known that granola like this exists, because I've eaten it many times, but I've never made it myself. It's crunchy, it's sweet, but not too sweet, and my favorite part, it's got those big crunchy clusters you hear about in Honey Bunches of Oats commercials. I knew there must be a secret to making this type of granola but I never knew what it was - until now. I saw Alton Brown make his granola recipe and wanted to try it out, and after a couple minor changes, I got the granola I'm talking about. The secrets I found, are the three Ts: temp, time, and turning. I have never had the patience to wait around mess around with the granola for the amount of time this recipe requires, but believe me, it is truly worth it (and not actually as much work as my lazy self had assumed)! Here is the recipe (like I said, adapted from the wonderful Alton Brown's here):
Close-up during one of the flips...
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw sliced almonds
1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 250F.
In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, cashews, coconut, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine the honey, oil, and salt. Pour the liquid mixture into the oat mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture onto a sheet pan(s) so it is in an even layer. (Make sure the pan is very well-greased or lined with parchment or wax paper to avoid sticking while turning and after the cooking process is done).
Cook for a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure an even color and to avoid burning. After the time is up, remove the sheet pan and let cool. The mixture will still seem a little wet, but after it cools it dries out a bit and becomes crispy, crunchy, and gets those wonderful little clusters. After the mixture is cool, break up to your liking and mix in the cranberries.
I try my very best to avoid dairy, so I enjoy this granola for breakfast with my favorite almond milk, but you can enjoy it with your favorite milk, yogurt, ice cream, or just dry as a snack in between meals. ENJOY! :)
Some other combinations for fruit/nuts you can try:
-Dried cherries & almonds
-Dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and pecans, tossed with some cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves (perfect for the holidays)!
-Cashews, almonds, crushed banana chips, and crystallized ginger (tropical style)