Granola

So, last night I had a great dream, and Alli, you were in it!  We were on vacation in Tampa, FL.  I really don’t know why I remember it being specifically Tampa, but in my deep slumber, I connected Tampa with Siesta Key and the Siesta Key Cocktail.

If you’ve never heard of a Siesta Key Cocktail, it is a yogurt parfait with granola and fresh fruit.  You can get it at First Watch.  But, I’d argue its even better at home with your own homemade granola!

Now, I’ve been perfecting this granola recipe for a few years.  The perfect granola has eluded me for quite some time until I finally figured out how to make big granola clusters.  Here’s my recipe and my secret for making the granola stick together.

Plus, what I love about this recipe is that you can mix and match whatever nuts and fruits you like.  This recipe is walnuts, sunflower seeds, coconut and craisins, but you could easily swap in almonds, hazelnuts, cashews or pecans, and make a tropical version using mangos and papayas, or dried strawberries and blueberries.

  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup bran flakes
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts pieces
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (this is important!).

Mix the canola oil, honey, orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon,and vanilla until smooth.  Combine the oats, bran flakes, flax, walnuts, sunflower seeds and coconut in a large bowl.  Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture until everything is coated.  Drizzle with some more honey.  Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crisp, stirring once.

Now, here’s the important part:  after the granola is done baking, remove from oven and mush (yes that is a technical term!) the oat mixture together to form one big granola bar type thing.  Let it cool completely, and then break into large clumps.  Combine with craisins and raisins and serve!

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