Serves: Makes 12 cups of granola
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup whole unsalted almonds
- 1 cup whole skinned hazelnuts
- ½ cup ground flax seeds
- 2 cups large-flake unsweetened coconut
- 2 cups dried fruit, either golden raisins, dried cherries, sweetened cranberries, chopped dates, apricots, or a favorite combination
Procedures:"You’ll be snacking on this before it ever gets scooped from the baking sheets and packed into the gift bags—it is so addictively good! It’s better than any store-bought granola we’ve ever tasted. It’s a deliciously healthy gift to give, packed with plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids from the canola oil and ground flax seeds, protein-charged with almonds and hazelnuts, and nutrient-rich with the addition of dried fruit. Customize the granola by substituting different nuts, such as walnuts and cashews, and select your own assortment of dried fruit. If giving this granola at Christmastime, the addition of dried cherries or sweetened cranberries makes it look seasonal and festive.
- Position one rack in the center of the oven and another rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, honey, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir until combined; however, the oil will not blend into the paste and that's okay. Add the oats to the mixture and use your hands to massage the ingredients together. Gently crush some of the oats with your fingers.
- Divide the oat mixture between 2 large nonstick rimmed baking sheets and spread the small clumps of oats evenly with a silicon spatula. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pans from the oven. Sprinkle ½ cup of almonds over each pan of oats and stir to combine. Return the pans to the oven, switching the pans between the racks, and bake for 5 minutes more.
- Remove the pans from the oven and divide the hazelnuts and flax seeds equally between the pans, stir. Return the pans to the oven, rotating them between the racks, and bake for 10 minutes longer.
- Remove the pans from the oven and divide the coconut evenly between the pans, stirring to mix. Return the pans to the oven, switching the pans one last time, and continue to bake until the coconut is a light golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes longer.
- Remove the granola from the oven, set on wire racks, and let cool on the pans. (Don't worry if the granola doesn't feel crisp; it will dry out and crisp up as it cools.) Once cool, stir in the dried fruit, dividing evenly between the pans.
Storing: Store the granola at room temperature in tightly sealed glass jars or cellophane bags for up to 1 month.