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Homemade Granola

From Athens Locally Grown

<p>Making up a batch of this healthy staple today, as I have more or less continuously since the 1970s, it occurred to me that I should share the recipe.</p> <p>This is one of our family&#8217;s staples for breakfast (mixed with homemade yogurt and topped with a pile of chopped fresh fruits), and makes a tasty,healthy topping for cobblers and pies&#8230; It&#8217;s very adaptable, easy to whip together, and a good source of vitamins, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. (The wheat germ adds vitamin E and folic acid, but for a gluten-free variation, it can simply be eliminated without affecting the final product. Just reduce the hot water to 1/4 c.)</p> <p>The amounts may seem large, but they work out to use entire packages of things if you don&#8217;t have a way to buy them in bulk, and the recipe makes just enough granola to fill two 13&#215;9 pans for toasting it, thus using the oven most efficiently. Don&#8217;t worry, the granola stores beautifully, but it&#8217;s also yummy and will go fast!</p>
Source: My own recipe (Entered by Janice Matthews)
Serves: About 25 one-cup servings

15 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (= one 42-oz. cardboard cannister)
4 cups raw wheat germ (=one 12-oz jar)
2 cups raw shelled pumpkin seeds (= one 12-oz box)
2 cups raw sunflower seeds (= one 12-oz. container)
2 cups nuts (I usually use sliced almonds or broken walnuts)
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup hot water
1 tsp. salt
1 T. vanilla extract

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In your largest bowl or pan, mix together the rolled oats, wheat germ, and seeds and nuts.
  2. In a heat-proof measuring cup, combine the molasses, oil, salt, vanilla extract, and hot water. Pour this in a spiraling stream all over the top of the oat mixture, and stir it in well, until all the mixture is coated.
  3. Divide the granola mixture between two large (13x9 inch) baking pans, and put them into the preheated oven. (Optional, but if you're worried about the granola sticking, spray pans lightly with Pam before putting it in.)
  4. This is the only tricky step at all -- you want the granola to toast, not burn. After a few times, you'll know exactly what's needed. For now, set a timer, and stir from the edges toward the center every 5 minutes. Trade the positions of the pans if needed. Depending on your oven, it will probably take about 20 minutes for the granola to turn a uniformly light toasty brown.
  5. Remove the pans from the oven and set them on a rack to cool. Then scoop the granola into a container with a lid or a ziplock bag. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy!