Granola --- a crunchy, nutritious, wholesome food --- but sometimes such work to make. At least it was when I was a teenager and our family had a granola baking day. Huge batches that slowly baked in the large trays in the oven for hours were the norm. As the years have gone by, I've found that I've prepared it less and less --- until I found this simple recipe! Now I make granola in smaller batches in a skillet on the stove! And it's simply delicious! Wholesome and not too crunchy, this recipe is one that is easily adapted to ingredients on hand. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
3 cups rolled quinoa flakes* (or rolled oats)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.)
1/4 cup sesame seeds (or other seeds such as flax and poppy)
1/2 cup dried shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup maple syrup (or alternative sweetener)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, currants, cranberries, dates, pineapple, apple, apricot, pear, prune)
In a large, cold skillet place flakes, nuts, 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 flakes and nuts are crispy and burned, the sesame seeds start to pop, and the maple syrup smells like burnt sugar --- but be careful not to let the mixture burn! Toasting should 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, stirring it occasionally to break up any clumps. When mixture is cooled to room temperature, transfer the granola to a glass or plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Granola can be refrigerated for about a month, or frozen for about two months. Serve with milk of choice (soy, rice, or almond are delicious) or juice. Enjoy!
*May substitute rolled oats for quinoa flakes.