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Homemade Granola

I was going to post this anyway – in the spirit of getting all healthy for the New Year, blah blah — but then I read that January was NATIONAL OATMEAL MONTH (Who knew oatmeal had its own month? Can I have one, too?), so I decided to stop messing around and get this recipe up.

People were waiting. Oatmeal was waiting, for god’s sake.

Oh I know that there are other granola recipes out there, and I know that it’s kind of a retro thing to make (I was reminded of this recently when a friend laughed  — scoffed! — and said, Granola? I made that in the 70s!), but I’m here to tell you that this little recipe is a great thing to have in your back pocket, when, for instance, you want to eat a big old bowl of Greek yogurt with some honey of the forest, and want a big crunch (cue: granola), as I do just about every day, or if you want to use the granola as a base for a fruit crisp, which I do often – but not every day, because, well, I’d be back in the stretch pants, now, wouldn’t I?

So without further ado, here’s how I’m making my granola these days. I’m fond of currants, but you can put whatever dried fruit you like in here instead, or none at all. Ditto on the almonds. A lot of folks like coconut in their granola, and I see nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that I personally cannot stand coconut anything at all, so I leave it out. Next time I may just put something that looks a lot like currants, but isn’t, in my granola – these cute little chocolate chips that I brought back from Spain. Such a great antioxidant! See how healthy we’re going to be in 2010?

PS, y’all. If you’re feeling kinda lazy, you can order granola online from my fella cowgirl Heather in San Antone.  She’s the brains behind  COWGIRL GRANOLA (not to be confused with Cowgirl CHEF Granola below – oh dear!), and has different granola blends that change seasonally. Check it out.

Cowgirl Chef Granola

10 cups oats, tricicale, or a mixture

1 cup apple juice

1 cup honey

½ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon sea salt

3 cups sliced almonds (or pecans or walnuts)

2-3 cups currants (or raisins, cranberries, chopped dates or a mixture – get crazy!)


Preheat oven to 300 F.

1. Spread almonds on a cookie sheet and bake until light brown. Put in a bowl and set aside.

2. Pour all of the oats into a bowl. Set aside.

3. Put the honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and apple juice in a saucepan and turn the heat on low. Cook only until the brown sugar melts and the rest of the ingredients come together, about 3-5 minutes.

4. Pour this over the oats and mix well to make sure that all of the oats are well coated. Spread out on as many cookie sheets (with rims) as you need — you’ll want a pretty thin layer, not to exceed 1/4-inch, or the granola won’t dry out.

5. Cook for 45 minutes to one hour, checking every 10 minutes or so and stirring it around so it’ll crisp. Turn off the oven and leave the granola in the oven to completely cool.

6. Once cool, mix the granola with the almonds and the dried fruit. It’ll keep nicely in the fridge or freezer for a month or two.