Granola…the first time I remember making it in earnest I was in our apartment in Boston’s South End (USA) mixing together a batch for one of my closest and dearest friends, Steevy. The flavor combinations turned out to be a success, and since then I have been experimenting with various flavor and texture combinations – sweet, salty, spicy, savory, etc. To me, the perfect granola is a combination of flavors all jumbled together with a mixture of crunch and softness. It should not be overly sweet, and it should have a hint of salt. The entire bite should not be all crunch – the chewiness of fruit should come through. So this is why I keep going at it and playing around with different combinations. It is fun, and it is also a bit dangerous. I have been known to go through and entire batch of granola in about 3-4 days.
Makes about 16 1/2 cup servings. Total cooking time: 18-20 minutes.
350 g (12 oz) oats (gluten free if needed)
150 g (5 oz) pistachios
150 g (5 oz) pumpkin seeds
50 g (2 oz sliced almonds
150 g (5 oz) coarsely chopped walnuts
150 g (5 oz) unsweetened dried coconut flakes
2 tsp salt
300 g (10 oz) dark chocolate chips (use vegan options such as Enjoy Life or Sunspire)
150 ml honey or maple syrup
150 ml coconut oil (or olive oil for a fruitier flavor)
250 g (8 1/2 oz) raisins (I like to use Sunmaid Brand)
Preheat oven to 150C (300F) and let heat for about 20 min. Line a large baking sheet with at least 2.5cm (1 inch) high sides with aluminum foil and set it aside.
Mix together the nuts, seeds, oats, and coconut flakes in a large bowl and set aside. In a heavy bottom pan heat the coconut oil and maple syrup together while gently mixing until warm. Pour half of the liquid over the oat mixture and stir until well-combined. Add in half of the salt. Add in the rest of the liquid mixture and continue to mix until combined. Spread the mixture out onto the baking pan, and try to ensure that the oat mixture is well coated with they syrup. Bake in the over for roughly 8 minutes, and then gently stir. You want to ensure that the mix gets cooked all over, and that it is sufficiently browned and toasted. Let the mixture cook for another 8-10 minutes, and stir gently again. Turn the oven off and let the granola sit for another 2-5 minutes. Make sure that it is not getting “too” browned. A golden brown is what you want.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and add in the raisins. Gently stir the mixture. Let cool for about 5-8 minutes and then add in the chocolate and the remaining salt. As the mixture is warm the chocolate will start to melt. After about 5 minutes you can stir again so that the entire mixture is coated with the chocolate, or you can allow it to cool, so that the chocolate bits are scattered throughout the mixture – this is completely a personal preference. Once the mixture has cooled completely transfer to an airtight container and ENJOY!
The mixture keeps well in a freezer for months (it is safe to say 3, and although I might have done it for longer…)
OPTIONS: If you prefer a “less sweet” taste reduce the honey or maple syrup to 100 grams. You can also switch up the nuts based on personal preferences. If you do not like the sweet/salty combination omit half of the salt or reduce it to 1/2 tsp.