There are nights when even we can't bring ourselves to put on the apron, but there are also nights when the only thing that will suffice is a small bowl of something toothsome and slightly sweet.
For me, this bowl must also travel easily in the palm of my left hand, so that I can pace around if I want or maybe sit with it by the window to watch the traffic swim by. And it absolutely must be drowning in cold, whole milk. But a balance must be brought to the moment, and that is that if this bowl must contain cereal, that it be of my own making.
And how simple, and addictive to continue making, homemade granola is! We may even try it for breakfast, or scandalously, for lunch.
Makes 8-10 cups
A basic but flexible granola recipe that should satisfy for breakfast, lunch, or a last-minute supper. Simple and speedy to mix, but allow the long and slow baking time to work its magic while you go find other things to do, like read a book, weed the garden, or tidy the house.
Preheat your oven to 300°F. In the absolute largest and widest bowl you have mix together 6-8 cups of rolled oats, 1 teaspoon of kosher or sea salt, 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional), ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional) and any other dry additions (look below), excluding the dried fruit. Add ½- ¾ cup neutral-flavored oil and mix well. Add ½- ¾ cup honey or real maple syrup and mix well.
Pour the granola into a single layer on a large baking/cookie sheet. (You can also divide between two smaller cookie sheets.) Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove with oven mitts and stir and redistribute your granola on the baking pan, and bake for another 15 minutes. Again, stir and redistribute your granola, and bake for another 15 minutes. One last time, stir your granola and bake for a further 10 minutes. (Bake even longer if you like your granola roasty-toasty, as I do.)
Remove to a cooling rack to cool. I usually leave mine to rest for an hour. Now is the time to add your 2 cups of dried fruit (chopped, if necessary), if you fancy it, and give it all a good toss. All done, now store in the cupboard in a well-sealed plastic or glass container. This will keep for a few weeks, easily.
NOTES & VARIATIONS
*Dry Additions: 1-2 cups chopped nuts (not roasted or salted), ¼ cup seeds (not roasted or salted), ½- 1 cup flax meal and/or wheat or oat bran, 1-2 cups dessicated coconut
6-8 cups (roughly) rolled oats
Kosher or sea salt
Cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg (all optional)
1-2 cups nuts, not roasted or salted (optional)
¼ cup seeds, not roasted or salted (optional)
½- 1 cup flax meal and/or wheat or oat bran (optional)
1-2 cups dessicated coconut (optional)
Neutral flavored oil
Runny Honey or real maple syrup
2 cups dried fruit (optional)