Have you ever made your own granola before? Making your own is so much easier than you may think, and you probably have everything in your pantry RIGHT NOW. Mind => BLOWN! Let’s get to it. (Don’t you just want to dive right into that sea of delicious oats, pecans, and cherries?!)
It was just over a year ago that my friend Sue from It’s Okay To Eat The Cupcake came over with our Inland Empire Food Blogger friends, and with her she brought the most delightful home-made Autumn Maple Granola. It was on that day, I vowed to make it, and here we are over a year later! I can’t believe it took me so long to get to it. You probably have all the stuff in your pantry too!
Start by lining your baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. If you don’t have any on hand, just give it a light dusting of cooking spray, butter, or olive oil so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Get your butter melting in a large pot! Lots of stuff will end up in the pot. We need that space!
Add in your base nut – Sue suggests using pecan, almond or walnut as the base. I had quite a few pecans leftover from all the Pecan Tassie making over the holidays, so they got the job this time!
Melissa’s Produce sent me home with a huge gift basket for the holidays, and contained within were these dried bing cherries. They should be available at your grocery store, but if not, you can also use dried cranberries, raisins, apricots, blueberries… any dried fruit, really! I thought the cherries and coconut would go spectacularly well together!
The pecans go into the pot once the butter is melted, and are tossed to coat. We want to toast them just a little bit, to release their oils, flavors, and overall goodness. Raw nuts are good (and good for you), but one covered in butter and lightly toasted!? The texture changes, and it’s heavenly!
Brown sugar and honey go in next. Don’t put the rest of the ingredients in until the sugar has all dissolved. Here is a good time to add in your flavorings too. In our case it’s cinnamon, hatch chile powder, and cloves. A teeny bit of salt brings out the flavors of everything!
Now everyone finally gets to participate in the party! I added the oats, cherries, pepitas for color, and shaved, dried coconut, and tossed everything until it was coated well.
Onto the baking sheet it goes.
Spread it all out, so that it’s in an even layer, then cook for 20 minutes, tossing once halfway through the cooking time.
Allow the granola to cool on the baking sheet, then break it up into pieces. I put mine in a combination of jars, and little 1/2 cup containers so they’re ready to go for the week’s lunches. This stuff is a LIFESAVER when you’re short on time during the week, and so very, very good. I hope you enjoy!
- 5 Tablespoons Earth Balance Butter
- 2 Cups Chopped Pecans
- 2 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1/3 Cup Raw Pepitas
- 1/2 Cup Melissa’s Dried Bing Cherries (or one small 3 ounce package)
- 1/3 Cup Shaved Coconut
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Honey
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon Hot Hatch Chile Powder
- 1/8 Teaspoon Cloves
- 1 Pinch Salt
- Pre-heat oven to 325F, and line one large baking sheet with parchment or a silpat baking mat.
- Melt butter in a large sauce pan under medium, and add your pecans, tossing to coat and toasting for just a few minutes until fragrant. Add in the brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, hatch chile powder, cloves, and a pinch of salt, and mix until the sugar is melted, another minute.
- Add the oats, cherries, coconut, and pepitas, and toss to coat. Spread over the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, tossing once in the middle of baking.
- Let cool completely on the baking sheet, then break up and portion into jars or 1/2 cup containers.