Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chunky Granola

One of the things that I struggled with when we moved from Denver to Virginia was not being able to find some of the foods I enjoyed. There are certain things that we just haven't been able to find in this town and we've gotten used to not having them. Others, like granola, I've learned how to make myself. Now, to be fair, it is possible to buy granola here. But it just wasn't doing it for me, and it was very expensive. This recipe is easy and cheap to make, and it's a great project to do with kids. E helps me every time we make it.

Chunky Granola

6 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup nuts
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup almond butter or peanut butter (You can leave this out and increase the butter to a whole cup if you prefer.)
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup dried fruit or chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a microwave safe dish, melt the butter and almond or peanut butter in the microwave. Once it is melted, add the applesauce and vanilla to the dish and stir until thoroughly combined.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, and nuts. Pour in the butter and applesauce mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated with the wet. Drizzle the honey over the oat mixture and stir.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat, spread the granola in an even layer of about 1/2 inch thick, pressing it down with the back of your spoon. Bake in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. The baking time will depend on your oven and on how dark you'd like your granola. Stir the granola gently once halfway through baking to keep it from getting too brown at the edges.

Allow granola to cool before removing it from the baking sheets - this helps keep the granola chunky. Once cooled, add in any dried fruit or chocolate that you'd like, and enjoy!

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