Confession #60: I like it my way… Have-It-Your-Way Granola
For me, granola has always been a touchy subject, because I’m pretty picky about my granola. I like it my way, which means lots of granola-y clumps, rich texture, and flavor, flavor flavor. I used to have a certain type of store-bought granola that I thought was the best, and even though I always wanted to try making my own, the store-bought kind was always around, so it never seemed like the perfect moment. I think part of me was also worried that it wouldn’t be as good. There finally came the day, though, that I was determined to make granola. I did a lot of searching (and trust me, I mean a lot), and I ended up picking the perfect recipe the first time, because this granola is AMAZING.
How good is it? Let me tell you… Remember that store-bought kind I was talking about? The next time I tried it, it seemed way too sweet and, in essence, fake. I spoiled myself with homemade granola, and now I don’t even want the store-bought type. Needless to say, “bake granola” is on my mental to-do list every other week now.
I’m calling this Have-It-Your-Way Granola because that’s really what it should be – granola the way you want it. I’m posting the recipe the basic way I like to do it, but I switch it up all the time. So should you! If that means using walnuts instead of pecans, or dried cranberries instead of raisins, or nutmeg instead of cinnamon, go for it! I promise you this; every time you make it, you’ll end up with beautiful, golden, clumpy, delicious granola (and you will be making it more than once!).
P.S. I think it’s worth it to note that this granola is definitely on the healthier side of most granola recipes, particularly because there’s no butter called for, and it’s only lightly sweetened with honey. Bonus :)
This is the ultimate granola: clumpy, crunchy, full of flavor, and perfectly sweetened. Make this granola recipe as is, or use different nuts, dried fruits, and spices; the whole point is - have it your way!
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 egg whites
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 F. Spray two baking sheets with a nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the rolled oats, pecans, almonds, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites, oil, honey, and vanilla extract for about 30 seconds. Pour into the dry ingredients.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until the wet is evenly distributed into the dry. Split the granola evenly between the two baking sheets,making a doughnut shape with no granola in the center (This is so that all of the granola gets evenly baked). Pat down the granola with the back of a spatula.
Bake granola in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. Let granola sit for 20 minutes before breaking into clumps. Store in an airtight container.
Almost every time we make this granola recipe, we do something a bit different. Of course, you can easily switch any of the fruits and nuts to suit your liking. You change up the spices and add seeds as well. One of my favorite adaptations so far is substituting ground tahitian vanilla for the vanilla extract and adding 2 tablespoons of whole flaxseed. Have fun with it!