Granola with Almonds, Chia, Flax, and Dried Fruit

Granola with oats, rye flakes, raisins and apricots

Granola with Almonds, Chia, Flax, and Dried Fruit

Homemade granola is one of the simplest things to make. I love the mélange of flavors and textures; it’s a bit sweet with enough salt to balance the sweetness and bring out the flavor of the nuts, seeds and spices. It cooks up crunchy and depending on how much you stir it you will have nice clusters too. It’s amendable so tweak it with your favorite ingredients or use what you have on hand. Honestly with the crummy weather we’ve been having if you’re cooped up inside for the weekend, make a batch of granola. (More please and the recipe.)
Thick rolled oats are the base and sometimes I substitute rye flakes. For the dried fruit I mostly use raisins, but, you can use dates, apricots, and cranberries. Quite a few recipes use coconut and I was doubtful I would like it, but, once I tried it’s become a must. It’s another layer of flavor so why not give it a go. Ground flax and chia seeds are added for more fiber and nutrition. You can use sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds. Granola is a great way to use up small bits of nuts and dried fruit and it keeps well.
Granola unfortunately isn’t a low sugar or fat recipe. Without the sugar and fat it wouldn’t be crunchy or as addictive—it would be muesli. Sugar, oil and baking are the 3 things that make it toasty and crunchy. I like to use a combination of honey and brown sugar so it’s not too sweet. I use a good extra virgin olive oil. You can change this to another type of oil like safflower.

Active time: 50 minutes (including baking)
About 23 1/3 cup servings

4 cups rolled oats (old fashion, not quick cooking)
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 cups almonds, chopped
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup coconut chips
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cranberries and etc.)

1. Heat oven to 300°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
2. In a large bowl combine the oats, chia seeds, almonds, flax seeds and coconut chips.
3. Mix together the olive oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, sea salt, and cinnamon, and drizzle over the granola. Make sure everything is well coated. Spread the granola on 2 sheet pans evenly. Bake until golden and crunchy. Stir every 10 minutes it will take about 30 minutes until it becomes lightly golden. Rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Add the dried fruit when it comes out of the oven. Cool to room temperature and then store in an airtight container.

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Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie