Granola refers to a whole grain product that is sweetened and baked until crisp. Muesli is traditionally not baked or sweetened.
Today has been cold and rainy. The perfect kind of day for baking up something delicious. I found a surplus of oats and nuts in my pantry, and decided it was definitely time to make some granola. I have been wanting to try this recipe for years. I was not disappointed. It came together very quickly. And the smell of it crisping in the oven is divine! This recipe was only slightly altered from the original written by Melissa of The Traveler's Lunchbox. She claims that the secret to this great granola is the oat flour...and I must agree. It makes the most wonderful crispy clumps. So, grab the following ingredients from your pantry and let's get started!
quick cooking oats
assorted nuts and seeds
Measure out 2 3/4 cups of quick cooking oats into a blender or food processor. Pulse until the oats become a fine powder. Dump into a large bowl. It should look something like this:
Measure out 3 more cups of quick cooking oats and dump them into the bowl as is.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the oats and the flour.
Now add your nuts and seeds. You want a total of three cups, but you can use an assortment.
I had a large variety of nuts and seeds in my cupboard, so I just used what I had. Anything goes here. You will want to break up the larger nuts into coarse pieces. I ended up using pine nuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Dump whatever your little heart desires into the big bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg.
Stir it all together well.
Now, in a small saucepan melt 1/2 cup of butter over low heat. Add 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1/3 cup water. Heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is just bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Carefully pour the mixture over the contents in the bowl. Stir until everything is evenly moist.
Let it sit for about ten minutes while you do the dishes and clean-up a bit.
Pour the granola onto a cookie sheet, spread it out and separate it into clumps.
Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and gently stir it around. Return to the oven for fifteen minutes. Remove and stir. Continue this process for about an hour and a half, until all of it is golden and crisp.
Cool completely and add any dried fruit that you are craving. Store in an airtight container.
Eat by the handfuls. Milk is always a good thing---poured right over the top. In a bowl silly, not in your hand! Or you could be all fancy pants and serve it with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit.
Delicious! And the perfect solution to brightening up a dark and dreary day.