Breakfast may be touted as the most important meal of the day, but hectic mornings don’t always lend enough time to make it fancy or exciting. In our house, I always try to keep a big tub of homemade granola stocked so that we have a wholesome (and popular) option on even the busiest of mornings. In fact, I usually make a double recipe so that it lasts more than a few days! I think my boys would eat granola every day if I allowed them to.
Sometimes I add dried fruit when I make granola, but more often than not, I leave it plain so that it’s easier to jazz up to everyone’s individual tastes come breakfast time on any given morning. Raisins, banana chips, dried cranberries, cherries, or apricots…the possibilities are endless. I am actually perfectly content eating the stuff plain (but I will plead the fifth if accused of tossing in a generous handful of chocolate chips and then eating it out of a coffee mug so my kids can’t see…ahem), but my boys love it stirred into some vanilla yogurt or milk with lots of fresh berries on top.
Granola doesn’t have to be limited to the breakfast table. It’s even yummy as an ice cream topping or baked into muffins. And I’ve bagged up this very granola and given it as gifts more times than I can count. It is always well received and people always request the recipe. It’s also fun to customize it for the holidays, for example, by using dried cranberries (red) and pistachios (green) at (you guessed it!) Christmastime. You might be seriously Type-A if you feel compelled to match your breakfast foods to seasonal color schemes, but I, of course, wouldn’t know anything about that.
This recipe is adapted from a Barefoot Contessa classic. Her version calls for vegetable oil, but when I first started making it, I quickly determined that I much prefer the flavor of butter. Then a few years ago when I got on my still-going coconut oil kick, I decided to try that in lieu of butter. I must say, it leads to the best results yet. The coconut oil creates a glaze that’s crunchy and chewy at the same time. As for nuts, go with your favorite! They are all delicious, but experiment until you find a combination that sings to you. For me, that’s almonds and cashews.
Homemade granola is easy to make, infinitely customizable, and the yummy results are well worth the minimal effort. I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as mine does!
Adapted from Ina Garten.
♥More granola goodness…