A few years ago we started making our own granola. Naiya likes her variety of warmed grains in the morning but Ryan and I are cereal people. We were going through so many boxes from Trader Joe's though that it was getting embarrassing to put out our recycling. My friend Rachel gave us a tasty recipe that we have morphed over time into what we like most. This year we gave bags of it away for Christmas and it was a hit.
8-10 cups oats
1 cup sesame seeds (I use raw)
1 cup sunflower seeds (raw again)
1/4 cup ground flax seeds (optional)
1-2 tsp. cinnamon (optional) (I have also used the Pumpkin Pie Spice from Trader Joe's)
Toss these first ingredients then in a second bowl whisk to emulsify:
3/4 cups oil
1 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (optional)
Pour about 3/4 of this mixture into the oats and stir to moisten. Let that sit for about an hour. Meanwhile, chop a mixture of your favorite dried fruits and nuts. I typically use:
1-2 cups almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
( I have also used candied ginger, dried dates, raisins, dried blueberries and dried cherries)
Stir the fruits and nuts into the remaining oil and honey mixture.
Preheat oven to 300 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (I re-use this parchment paper several times). Spread the oats mixture on the parchment and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully toss and bake for 20 more minutes. Add the honeyed fruit and nuts, toss once more and bake for a final 20 minutes. (That's one hour total.)
Cool. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!