Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The BEST Granola!

Yes, I mean THE BEST!  I have been searching for a recipe like this ever since I had a similar-type of granola at a little cafe in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.  What I love most about this recipe is the perfect combination of not-too-sweet and salty.  It is really delicious and, I have to admit, somewhat addictive.  :)  I host a little study/play group on Wednesdays for my 11-year old son and a few of his buddies.  They study while my girls are at choir practice.  The goal is to get the "study" part done ASAP so there is more time for "play".  I always start our meetings with a healthy and delicious snack.  I know they will love this and can't wait to hear what they think.  This recipe was one of the simplest to make and is simply scrumptious!  I hope you try it!

The Best Granola
from Food 52
Adapted very slightly from Early Bird Foods' Farmhand's Choice Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
1 1/4 cup raw pecan halves, left whole or coarsely chopped
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
Coarse salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 
Place oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, pecans, syrup, olive oil, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring (with a large metal spoon) every 10-15 minutes, until granola is toasted, about 45 minutes.
Remove granola from oven and season with more salt to taste - I used another 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Let cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month.  If your house is like mine it won't last more than a week!

Ready for the oven below...

Just out of the oven...don't forget to sprinkle on a little more salt!