I know my friend Mary is giggling right now reading this post because she loves to call me crunchy granola. Whatevs Mary!
Part of our family's switch from processed to whole/real foods was phasing out boxed cereal. After a few months of not having it around, the villagers got angry and threatened to tar and feather me. To keep the torches and pitchforks to a minimum, I started making granola. I make a huge batch at once and store it in a big plastic cereal box thingy I found on clearance at Macys. Because the granola is so hearty, Troy we don't need to eat a punch bowl full at a time, 1 "box" lasts us about 3-4 weeks.
The base recipe is pretty versatile and I've had fun being creative with flavors. I've made a chocolate peanut butter batch, but Cranberry, Orange, and Walnut has been my favorite, hands down.
Dirty Crunchy Hippy Cranberry Orange, Walnut granola
8 cups of thick rolled old-fashioned oats (NOT quick oats)
1 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of homemade brown sugar
1/2 cup of real maple syrup (not the HFCS pancake crap)
1/2 - 3/4 cup of walnuts, chopped
2 cups of coconut oil, melted
1 organic orange
1 1/2 cups of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of flaked, unsweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Melt your coconut oil in the microwave. Set aside. In a large bowl, add oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, brown sugar, and walnuts. Zest the skin of 1 orange over the bowl. I love my microplane for this. After zesting it, juice the orange and pour over the oat mixture. Add maple syrup and coconut oil. Stir well.
I use my lasagna pan when making granola because it has high sides and allows you to stir through the baking process without spilling oats all over your oven. Cause that is fun to clean.
Bake for 15 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 15 minutes, and stir. Bake for 10 minutes, then add the cranberries - stir to incorporate. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Add coconut flakes and bake for no more than 5 minutes. Allow the granola to cool completely, and store in an air-tight container.
As with anything I make, this of course is best accompanied by homemade or locally made bacon.