The granola at Macy’s (www.macyscoffee.net) in Flagstaff is really something. If you ever find yourself in Flagstaff at breakfast time, I highly recommend that you wander down Beaver Street and eat something there. My usual weekday breakfast is a pretty good approximation of their yogurt with fruit and granola. I don’t remember exactly what is in their granola, though I remember peanuts or almonds or both. I also checked their website today and it says that their granola is wheat free. Mine is not as you will see below. But it could be.
I never set out to make my own granola. I had actually found granola that I liked a lot at a store here in Madison. It was ungodly expensive. Then I did some digging around to see if I could buy it directly from their supplier and while I couldn’t, I did find out what the wholesale prices were for it. At that point, I put my mind to making really good granola. While I’m sure I’m saving money on this, I’ve never really tallied up my savings per batch. I found a recipe to start with in the “Baking with Kids” section of a pretty comprehensive baking cookbook that I have. I’ve tweaked it a lot, from cutting the butter in half to changing the sweeteners. (The original recipe used brown sugar and while honey and maple syrup are mostly sugar, at least they aren’t so refined.) Here is what I came up with. You can do what you want based on what you like and what is available.
2 1/2 cups rolled oats (I like the ones from Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup peanuts
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup (if I was making these in the Sonoran Desert, I might try agave syrup. I might anyway now that I’ve thought of it.)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup wheat germ
cinnamon to taste
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried blueberries
Use the 2 tablespoons of butter to lightly grease the bottom of a large roasting pan. Even better if you have a silicon baking sheet liner that you can use since this will make your cleanup MUCH easier. Place the oats, coconut, seeds and nuts in the roasting pan and spread evenly. Bake at 300 degrees stirring several times. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt what is left of the butter and mix with the maple syrup and honey. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Add the wheat germ to the mixture in the pan, as well as the cinnamon. Pour the butter and syrup/honey mixture over everything in the roasting pan and stir the mixture to get everything well coated. Bake 5 minutes more. Stir the dried fruit in to the mixture and bake 5 minutes more.
We always have these on hand for quick snacks and for taking on hiking, biking or paddling trips. I used to take them to work (just a very small container) so that I could have them in the afternoon if I was hungry. Problem was, I like them so much I would eat them right after lunch and then have nothing available later in the afternoon if I got hungry. They are addictive. Make and eat at your own risk.
8-12 ounces almonds
tamari (I use Eden Tamari, but any good quality soy sauce will do)
Spread the almonds thinly in a backing pan or on a cookie sheet with sides and bake at 200-250 degrees for 10-15 minutes, stirring several time to prevent scorching. The nuts should begin to release some of their natural oils. Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle with tamari. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all of the nuts are coated and all tamari is soaked into the nuts. Start out with just a little, you can alway add more if they aren’t all coated or you want the nuts to be saltier. Bake for another 10 minutes stirring once or twice.
Note: I often make these with just the residual heat after I have turned off the oven after using it for something else.