Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DIY: Granola 101

Granola is a luxury I don't often buy. 

 It's kind of expensive. . .Especially since I can eat an entire $3.99 box of my favorite Sunbelt Raisin Date variety in about 3 sittings. . .

A couple weeks ago, my mom said I should blog about making granola. Making granola? For some reason, the idea filled me with a sort of awe. Could really good granola be achieved by mere home-cooking mortals? I was skeptical and put off trying.

But then she sent me two tubs of chopped dates. I researched my topic thoroughly, scaling mountains of recipes to compare ingredients, oven temperatures, baking times, moisture content. . .

I don't know why I waited so long: making granola is way easier than pie. I would be surprised if someone managed to mess it up.

Last night, I made a batch loosely based on this recipe. Here's my take on it. . .

Maple Date Granola
  • 3 cups of oats (I used quick-cooking)
  • 2 cups coarsely grated fresh coconut
  • 2 cups of dates (or other dried fruits)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 T sunflower oil
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the oats, coconut, dates, and walnuts.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  4. Pour the wet over the dry, and mix well. I found my hands to be much more effective then a spoon here. You want everything to be very well and evenly coated.
  5. Dump onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread it out. Bake for 20 or so minutes, stirring at times with a wooden spoon.
  6. Cool and store for up to two weeks. (2 weeks is just what I've read is advisable since sans preservatives, the oil might eventually go rancid.)

If heaven has a scent, I bet it is lilac half the time, and something oat and cinnamon-y in the oven the other half.

Feel free to use packaged, unsweetened coconut flakes in lieu of fresh! I was just given a coconut by my very good friend and had to find something to do with it.

By the way, I still have half a coconut left. Any ideas?


  1. Wow, that recipe looks so good. I can't wait to try it. I make granola quite often, but your recipe looks more interesting than mine.

    I read that southern ladies used to use fresh coconuts always for their coconut cakes—that's one idea.

  2. Coconut macaroons!! ♥ Hehe, I like making granola, but am way too lazy to do it on a daily basis. *blush blush*

    1. Yummmmmm. Do you know, I was just reading Molly Wizenberg's (of the blog, Orangette) cookbook which contains a recipe for chocolate covered coconut macaroons that looks positively decadent. Hmmm....:)

  3. I've seen a bunch of granola receipes online that even to make at home it looked expensive. People get a little carried away with the fancy pants ingredients. This looks delish (and cheap)!

    1. I know, I was looking at all sorts of oddball recipes that called for . . .fennel seed? wheat germ? :) Not my (frugal) style. . .Enjoy!