Let's talk about granola. For years I would declare at each grocery store visit, "I'm going to make my own granola!" I never did. Now, I can't live without it. This granola is Alicia's, and I love it. a lot. a whole lot. a "look, I know it's just granola, but I love it" a lot. Why? It is so simple, and so good for you, and so filling. I eat it as cereal or just as a snack. It's sweet but not too sweet. It's just a great recipe. It also makes the house smell freaking cozy.
This recipe is nice and easy and can be improvised. I pretty much stick to it because I like it, but I always add more raisins or dried cranberries.. sometimes I throw in slivered almonds. You can add what you like or what you have on hand.
Oh, and it makes a bunch. It makes about 2 quarts.
6 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup maple sugar (or raw if that's what you have)
3/4 cup wheat germ (I get wheat germ that has cinnamon and flaxseed, and I get it at Giant Eagle)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup nuts, sesame or sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped raisins (or dried cranberries)
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/3 cup brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Spread the oats on a rimmed baking pan, and bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, wheat germ, coconut, nuts, raisins, and seeds. Stir to mix well. Add the oats and mix some more. Add the oil, syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix until everything is well moistened.
Spread half the mixture on your baking pan, and bake for 10 minutes, stirring after 5. You could just do 2 pans at once, but I always just do 1 at a time. No reason why really.
Store in an airtight container, and try not to gobble it all up in one day.