This recipe was inspired by the homemade granola served The Inn at Occidental in Sonoma County, CA. My friend, Erica, stayed there years ago and loved the granola so much, she brought home the recipe and shared it with me. It’s delicious and easy to make, but I should probably warn you — once you try it, you’ll turn your nose up at the boxed stuff. You’ll become a granola snob.
Homemade granola doesn’t just taste great; it packs a hefty nutritional punch. It’s chock-full of protein-rich nuts and seeds and this version even has wheat germ, a concentrated source of several essential nutrients and fiber. Add to that crispy clusters of old-fashioned oats, dried fruits, toasted coconut and golden honey and you’ve got a delicious power food.
Feel free to play with the ingredients… you can substitute any nuts, seeds or dried fruits that you like. Enjoy!
Inspired by The Inn at Occidental
Makes about 9-10 cups
2 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup sliced unsalted almonds
½ cup coarsely chopped unsalted pecans
½ cup coarsely chopped unsalted walnuts
½ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
½ cup toasted wheat germ (available at organic markets, such as Whole Foods)
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil, safflower or canola oil
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
1 cup dried fruits (such as cranberries, raisins, cherries, chopped apricots, currants, etc.)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 13 x 18-inch rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.
2. Combine oats, almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat germ, coconut, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl and mix.
3. In a small bowl, whisk honey and oil together until combined. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread mixture evenly onto prepared baking sheet and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, stirring and re-spreading a few times with a spatula, until entire mixture is medium golden brown. Watch carefully towards the end…it burns quickly (and will brown first in the corners and on the bottom).
4. Transfer the granola to another baking sheet or heatproof surface to stop the cooking process (simply lift the granola off the baking sheet using the aluminum foil overhang). Toss granola with a spatula and mix in dried fruits. Spread and press into an even layer, then let cool to room temperature. Break into clusters and store in an airtight container (I like it best cold so I keep it in the fridge).