This recipe comes from Beautiful Day RI which is a nonprofit company in Providence, RI that sells granola. The company was started to assist refugees in getting training and finding jobs. They sell numerous flavors of granola and give detailed instructions on how to make your own. This is the best granola I’ve ever tasted.
There are so many things I like about it – it’s super crunchy, you can add any kind of nuts you like (peanuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistacios), you can add any dried fruit, (I happen to love raisins and dried cranberries), coconut is optional (I leave it out, not one of my favorites), it contains healthy seeds like sunflower, pumpkin and flax) and it bakes twice. First the oatmeal, nuts and seeds are baked and then the sugar syrup is poured over and it is baked again.
I think the secret to its deliciousness and crunchiness is the double baking. The first baking gets the oats nice and brown and then the syrup is added and it is allowed to slowly bake with the other ingredients. The dried fruit is added in the last 10 minutes since it does’t need much cooking. It is baked at 300 °F which is low enough for the granola to cook slowly without burning. Please try this, you will love it. It’s great over yogurt in the morning.
Grains, Seeds & Nuts
- 5 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds raw
- 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds raw
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds raw
- 1/2 cup pecans or pistachios raw - chopped
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut optional
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds don't preroast
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup Canola oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
Fruit - Any combination
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup raisins seedless
For chocolate granola add:
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa sifted
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso (optional)
- Place rolled oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and pecans (or pistachios) and coconut (if using) in high sided roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes in a 300°F oven. If any of the nuts or seeds are already toasted, add them right before the syrup. Note, you can use any combination of nuts you choose (pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, sliced almonds, cashews).
- Remove pan from oven and mix in flax seeds. If you are making chocolate granola, add the cocoa now and mix in. Set aside while you make the syrup.
- Measure syrup ingredients into a 2-quart saucepan starting with sugar, then oil, then honey. Add salt, cinnamon and espresso (if using). Cook syrup over low heat until sugar dissolves. Raise to medium heat and stir occasionally until the mixture boils. Once boiling, whisk in the vanilla and almond extracts being careful as it will spatter when it hits the hot sugar mixture.
- Remove from heat and Immediately pour the syrup over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is coated with syrup.
- Return to oven and bake for 40 - 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from oven and stir in fruit. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Allow granola to cool in pan. If you prefer a chunky granola don't stir it until it cools then break it up with your hands. If you don't like clusters, stir it as it cools.
- Once completely cooled store in an airtight container. Any extra can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy!