Super Crunchy

For years after I moved to the west coast and began to adapt a more healthy lifestyle, I have been accused by my east coast family and friends as becoming a "crunchy granola" type. So, in the spirit of all things crunchy I give you the best recipe I have found for real-life, delicious, crunchy granola.

This originally comes from Mark Bittman's column in the NY Times but I have adapted it slightly (after making it about 1000 times).

It's the perfect recipe to bust out over the holidays because it makes a great hostess gift or a little something to bring to your neighbor to say "Happy New Year!"

I put it into jars and have a cache of them sitting on the counter, ready to grab and go. If you end up with any left over I'm sure it won't be around for very long.

This stuff is delicious!

xo, Lisa

Crunchy Granola (adapted from Mark Bittman)

Into the base of rolled oats you can stir just about any dry ingredient imaginable: dried fruit; spices, from cinnamon to vanilla to nutmeg, dried ginger or cardamom; even almond butter, tahini, cacao nibs or flax seeds would be great. And, of course, any other nut or seed you can think of. Get crazy and go with cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pecans. 

Ingredients

6 cups rolled oats (I use the gluten-free ones from Bob's Red Mill)

2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews

1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut, optional

1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or to taste

1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract  

Dash of salt

1/4-1/2 c maple syrup, or to taste  

About 1/2 c coconut oil, melted (I just throw mine in a skillet for 30 seconds and it melts quickly)

1 cup raisins or any chopped dried fruit 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, cinnamon, salt and sweetener. Toss with the coconut oil. Place on a baking sheet and put in oven. (I like to line my pan with parchment for easy clean-up). Bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring about half-way through. The mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.

2. Remove pan from oven and add raisins or dried fruit. I put it in a big bowl and stir once in a while until granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely. I keep mine in a huge glass jar on the shelf. It's rarely around for long!

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