One of my favorite foods to have for breakfast is plain Greek yogurt and fresh fruit topped with lots and lots of granola. I don’t know if I can call it a parfait because I make sure it is overflowing with granola. I used to use store bought granola but after making granola from scratch for the first time, I can never go back to the store kind (except maybe that Costco granola, if you know what I’m talking about).
Seriously guys, after you have tried this granola recipe, you will want no other kind of granola. Now whenever I find myself eating store bought granola (which rarely happens), I just end up missing my homemade version. This granola is so flavorful and full of raisins and nuts. My family and former roommates will tell you how great it is. When I go home for the holidays, this is often one of those things I have to make a lot of to leave behind. Even when I make it for myself, I double the recipe so I can eat it for as long as possible. It is my favorite.
You can use whatever dried fruit or nuts you want. I have used craisins, almonds, cashews, even peanuts before and it always turns out great but I’ve found walnuts and specifically flame raisins to be my favorite. Flame raisins are fatter and juicier than regular raisins, but any kind will do. I usually mix the sugars and oil over heat so the sugar can melt completely but I have omitted this step in the past many times before and just mixed all the ingredients without heating. It still turns out great.
You can mix in the raisins with everything before putting it in the oven (which I have done many times) but the raisins get hard so I find it best to add the raisins right after taking the granola out of the oven but it is up to you. Finally, to make this recipe vegan, you can replace the honey with maple syrup or agave nectar.
My Favorite Granola
This recipe yields about 5 cups of granola.
- 3 cups oatmeal
- 1 cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup or agave nectar to make it vegan)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
Mix the oatmeal, walnuts, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set raisins aside. In a small sauce pan, mix oil, sugar and honey over medium heat until the sugar is completely melted. Pour the sugar mixture over the oatmeal and nuts mixture. Add vanilla and mix until everything is coated with the sugar mixture.
Spread the granola mixture on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the granola is golden brown, tossing every 10 minutes to make sure it browns evenly. After taking the granola out of the oven, immediately mix in the raisins evenly. Let the granola cool completely then store it in an airtight container or jar.