If you're like me, you get tired of the same breakfasts all the time. If you're like me you also avoid fast-food breakfasts like the plague (though they are way, way more delicious than the plague. Especially the Burger King Croissanwich). This weekend I decided to break out of my weekday doldrums of a bagel and a banana and use some of the oatmeal that's sitting on top of the fridge, promising heart health and low cholesterol.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- wheat germ (optional, to be added later)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or other low flavor oil. You can reduce this by half if you're worried about calories)
- 1/2 cup honey (or more, to taste)
- 6 oz. dried fruit
- A pinch of kosher salt
- Cookie sheet
- Large mixing bowl (glass or ceramic is best--try to avoid plastic as you'll be working with hot ingredients)
Begin by spreading the nuts and oat meal out on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300°F for about 20 minutes, mixing twice during the baking process (I went with 8 minute intervals). Remove from the oven and combine in a large mixing bowl with the oil, honey, a dash of the salt and a generous sprinkling of the wheat germ.
Note: Wheat germ toasts very easily. You can control your granola's flavor profile by adding the wheat germ at different times. If you add it too early, however, it might burn. I would suggest baking the wheat germ no more than five minutes. However, if you want a rich, deep flavor with just a hint of smokiness and caramelization, then you might want to add the wheat germ during the second mixing, about 16 minutes during the first baking.
When the ingredients are well mixed, transfer them back to the cookie sheet and bake your mix an additional five minutes. Remove from the oven, go back to the mixing bowl and add your fruit. Taste. If it needs sweetening (it probably doesn't, especially if you brought dried fruit, to which manufacturers almost always add sugar), add a little more honey or a teaspoon of brown sugar. Let the mix cool, and you've got yourself some excellent granola with few additives, no HFC, and it works out to about fifty cents per serving.