Saturday, April 15, 2006

Stovetop Granola

3 cups oatmeal (rolled oats), not quick or instant
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup dried, shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or coriander
1/4 cup light oil (sunflower, etc.)
1/3 cup maple syrup (or your favorite sweetener)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice (raisins, currants, cranberries, or
chopped apple, apricot, pear, pineapple, prune, etc. or combination;
may omit entirely)

Use a large, heavy skillet, at least 10 inches round, with high sides. (If you don't have a skillet this big, use a smaller one and prepare granola in two batches. Or use a wok, which works great!).

Into the cold skillet place the oatmeal, nuts, sesame seeds, coconut, and cinnamon. Mix well.

Blend the oil, syrup, and vanilla together in a cup. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients in the skillet, stirring well to blend.

Turn the heat under the skillet to medium high. Toast the mixture, stirring frequently, until the oats and nuts are crispy and browned. The sesame seeds will start to "pop" and the maple syrup will smell like burnt sugar --- be careful not to let the mixture burn.

Toasting will take no more than five to seven minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the dried fruits. Let the granola rest in the skillet to cool.

NOTE: Some people don't like a crunchy or chewy granola. If you prefer a tender granola omit or reduce the amount of nuts and add seeds instead. Choose a combination from: sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, etc.

This recipe is very adaptable. If you don't have an item. . .leave it out or find a substitute. It'll still taste great! This is a yummy recipe and takes much less time than "oven" granola.

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