Makes:about 2 pounds |
Prep Time:10 minutes |
Cook Time:40 minutes
I was nervously crunching on granola the other day, granola I made to distract myself from anxiety over the election (cooking is always good therapy). I have two recipes — this one with almonds and maple syrup, that I developed for an article in Bon Appetit, and another one that I learned from a friend that is made with honey and a bunch of nuts. Both are healthy, cheaper than store-bought cereal, and great as gifts for the upcoming holidays, when the election will be over and we can go back to thinking about each other with kindness.
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
2 cups slivered almonds
1/2 cup neutral oil, such as coconut, grapeseed or canola
1/2 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B (see note)
1/2 cup hot tap water
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/4 cup dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries (optional)
Preheat an oven to 300°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl or pot, combine the oats and almonds. In a 2-cup measure, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, hot water, almond extract, vanilla extract and salt until blended. Pour over dry ingredients and stir until oats and almonds are completely coated. Divide mixture evenly between parchment-lined pans, spreading it out. Bake on the middle and lower racks of the oven for 20 minutes, then stir and re-spread contents of each pan and swap pan positions. Continue baking until golden brown and dry to the touch, about 20 minutes more.
Remove from oven and stir granola in each pan one more time. If using dried berries, sprinkle them over the granola and let cool completely on pans, then transfer to airtight containers. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or refrigerate if keeping longer.
note: Grade B syrup is more intense and flavorful than grade A and usually less expensive. Whatever you do, please don’t use maple-flavored pancake syrup.