VANILLA GRANOLA WITH HONEY & ALMONDS
Without my friend Kate, this website wouldn't be. Alas, she is so competent and knows that the best way to please me is with just out-of-the-oven granola when I return home from my daily two hour tennis battle. Just this morning, I arrived to a waft of vanilla and brown sugar. I couldn't wait. I don't think I've ever headed for the cupboard for a spoon and bowl with such enthusiasm to dig right in. It is also the only time I failed to notice the affections of my miniature labradoodle puppy. I let my nose do the thinking and ignored his tail wagging. Seasonal additions of fresh or dried fruits make for welcomed variations. Terrific with honey drizzle and plain yogurt. For a hearty breakfast, pour milk over it and eat like cereal. Be careful---this granola is addictive.
Nota bene: If using convection, lower the temperature 25 degrees. Begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes. Keeps in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Coconut oil spray
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
fresh berries, dried apricots, toasted coconut flakes, dried cranberries (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F and lightly spray a half pan baking sheet with coconut oil spray.
2. Mix oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
3. Over medium heat, bring coconut oil, honey and sugar to a simmer. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
4. Pour hot liquid over oat mixture and stir until combined.
5. Spread granola on baking sheet, and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes, remove from oven Using a spatula, turn the granola over and place back in the oven.
6. Bake for 10 more minutes, or until golden brown.
7. Allow to cool then break apart and store in airtight container.
8. Add optional ingredients just before serving.