I know this might sound a bit strange but I’ve created a schedule for our breakfasts during the week. Not because I’m anal, but because my son has become a food snob and if we eat the same thing too many times he simply won’t eat it. I’m not even a food snob but somehow I have turned both my husband and son into one. How does this work?
I do like variety though, so I thought I’d give in and create a system where I knew what was coming the next day. That way we don’t end up eating the dreaded peanut butter and jam on toast every day of the week.
I’ve tried a couple of granola recipes over the last couple months but all of them tasted like… homemade granola. Not that, that’s a bad thing, they just didn’t have me jumping up and down with excitement. This is the first recipe that tastes like I didn’t make it. Like there was a team of scientists behind it tweaking it to perfection. Except, it is homemade and I know every ingredient that’s in it.
It’s light. Not tough and crunchy like so many granola recipes are. And, yet it’s crisp. There is a very distinct almond flavour thanks to the almond extract. It’s not too strong just a nice undertone that enhances the granola and gives it that something special.
It’s such a simple recipe too. Hardly any babysitting and stirring. You might think it’s strange that there is both rolled and quick-cooking oats but the quick-cooking oats are there to help with the clumping. A great tip I picked up from Sylvie at gourmande in the kitchen.
I almost called this Perfect Almond Granola. But, I’m always a little hesitant to label anything “perfect” because what’s perfect for me may not be perfect for you. My family considers this granola to be “The Best” so that’s perfect enough for me. :)
I can’t wait to vary this recipe for different seasons. I think this one, with its light flavours, is perfect for summer and I plan on making big batches of it on rainy days (we get plenty of those here) all summer long.
What qualities are a must for your perfect granola?
Easy Almond Granola
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup sliced almonds
- 2/3 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1.5 teaspoons almond extract
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
Mix together oats, salt, almonds and coconut in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan combine water, oil, syrup and extract. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour over oat mixture. Toss to coat.
Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and line with parchment paper (this will keep the paper from sliding around). Using your hands, squeeze the granola mixture together to create clumps as you transfer it to the baking sheet.
Bake at 275ºF for 30 minutes. Stir in cranberries and cook an additional 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned.
Allow to cool completely before storing. Granola will crisp up as it cools. Store in a sealed container for up to one month.
Makes: 8 cups
Adapted from Three Many Cooks.