I have always loved the crunch and nuttiness of granola. I am aware that while I was growing up other children would opt for a sugary, cartoony, and “surprise inside” cereal. I wanted the grape nuts, or the Quaker granola cereal. I may not have enjoyed many breakfast type items, but granola always had a piece of my heart. I know I was a weird kid, I have been told it before. But it was weird coming from my family. For example; my mom and my sister would sit at the table eating their soft boiled egg, as I sit there with my granola. Or my mom flipping blueberry pancakes, as my dad and my sister wait eagerly to eat them, and I ask for a bow of grape nuts. I just really, truly enjoyed them. When I started to make granola on my own I was in awe. There is no comparison to the store bought variety and I have never looked back. I have made it a number of different ways: a variety of sweeteners, different nuts, different dried and fresh fruits, yogurt, soy milk, milk…I have just about tried it all. I mixed up a batch last night so I could have some this morning. The result was great. Although I will admit that it was not as sweet as other ones I have made before it did have a great balance when paired with the fresh raspberries and Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey. I filled a large jar of it on my counter and I will be enjoying it for about a week or so to come. I will be trying it out with a variety of fruit, but for now I will stick to the raspberries - they are just too perfect right now!
Hazelnut Granola(makes about 4 – 4 ½ cups)
3 cups of Oats
Scant ¼ cup of vegetable oil
2/3 cup of honey, plus extra for drizzling
1 tsp of sea salt
½ tsp of cinnamon
½ tsp of ground cardamom
½ tsp of ground ginger
1 full cup of whole hazelnuts (raw)
Greek yogurt, milk, or soy milk to taste
Raspberries or other seasonal fruit
First; in a large bowl place your oats and sprinkle over it your hazelnuts, sea salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and your ginger. Give your oat mixture a good stirring. In a small sauce pan gently combine your oil and honey and heat slightly, without bringing it to a simmer. You just want to gently heat the honey and oil. Carefully pure the honey and oil mixture over you toast and toss well until all is evenly coated.
Next; preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Either with a sheet pan or a large rectangular pan with sides; you can line it with parchment paper, or you can oil your pan. It is important to do this because your granola will stick other ways. Pour your oat mixture in one even layer across the pan.
Then; when your oven is heated place your oat filled pan in the oven to bake. You will want to let it bake at least 10 minutes before removing it from the oven to stir your oats / granola. When done stirring, place your pan back in the oven for another 10 minutes before repeating. You will want to do this for 3 4 times depending on how dark you will like your granola to become. Remove from the oven when done and let cool at least a hour before serving.
Finally; when ready to serve have your honey, yogurt, and fruit ready. Arrange and serve. Try not to let it all sit too long together because it may case the granola to soften and lose its crunch. Granola will be good for one week when held in an air tight container.