This is more of a granola blueprint than a recipe. You can choose your own nuts, seeds, and other ingredients to suit your own personal tastes.
yields 3 quarts of clusters
4 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups nuts +/or seeds, preferablly roasted + unsalted (almonds, peanuts, pumpkin, sunflower, etc.)
2 cups dried fruit (raisins, craisins, etc.)
1/4 cup neutral oil (i.e. canola or vegetable)
1 cup honey*
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*measure your oil before your honey and swirl the oil to coat the sides of the measuring cup. When you measure your honey after, it will easily slide right out of the oiled measuring cup, leaving none behind.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats and any unroasted seeds or nuts out on a sheet pan and toast for 10-20 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes or so to make sure they brown evenly. Remove when the oats are lightly toasted/light brown.
2. Drop oven temp to 300 degrees.
3. Combine the 4 tablespoons of oil, honey, brown sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
4. Transfer toasted oats, nuts, and seeds to a large bowl. Add dried fruit. Stir to combine. Add about 1/4 of the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula. Continue until all of the liquid is incorporated and the granola is well-mixed.
5. Grease a baking pan with butter, oil, or cooking spray. Pyrex pans work well for this, and a 9x13" one will hold everything easily. Cut a piece of parchment to cover the bottom of your pan and place it in. Transfer your granola mixture into the pan and, using your spatula +/or greased hands, distribute evenly. Press down to remove any air pockets and make as uniform as possible.
6. Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
7. Cool for at least 2-3 hours. Run a knife along the edges of your pan, then flip it over onto a cutting board to release your granola. Peel off parchment paper and cut into bars or break into clusters. Store in an airtight container.
Peanut Butter + Jelly - peanuts, craisins, add 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter to honey + oil mix
Winter Spice - almonds, pumpkin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
Hot Chocolate - 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Store-bought granola is usually: 1) full of sugar + artificial crap; and/or 2) too expensive.
You can, and should, create your own natural, relatively inexpensive granola.
Start with this basic recipe and you can customize the flavors any way you like them.