In the winter time, one of my favorite breakfast treats is often a bowl of granola, filled with steamed soy milk. I love the way the heartiness of the oats and nuts mixes with the hot, sweet milk; it’s a great way to warm up before starting a chilly day. When I first developed this recipe a few years ago in Los Angeles, I was so happy with it, I ate a bowl almost every morning for breakfast. Now a days, I only make a batch occasionally, usually as a special treat or sometimes as a gift. Still, it holds a special place as one of my favorite eats.
My preferred recipe includes zesty orange juice, rich Marcona almonds, and tangy dried apricots, but the great thing about homemade granola is you can use whatever you have in your cupboards to throw a batch together. Leftover nuts and dried fruit from cookie and bread recipes can all get tossed into the mix; the secret is the right amount of sugar and slow cooking to ensure big, crunchy crumbles.The possibilities really are endless, so try different variations of nuts, dried fruits, and fruit juices to see what you like best. It makes a wonderful wholesome breakfast with steamed milk, or a great snack for midday.
1 container rolled oats, 18 oz
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white caster sugar
1/2 dark brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Marcona almonds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup dried apricots, quartered
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a small, heavy bottomed sauce pot, bring the orange juice, sugars, and oil to a boil over medium heat.
3. Place the oats and nuts in a large bowl. Line one baking sheet with a silpat, or non-stick baking mat for easy clean-up later on.
4. Pour the liquid onto the oats and mix with wooden spoon until completely coated. Pour mixture onto the baking sheet and spread out evenly. Work quickly before the oats become too sticky.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and using a spatula, move toss the granola around carefully. Bake for another 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
6. Remove the tray from oven and place dried fruit and spices on warm granola. Toss on sheet tray and allow to cool. Store in zip lock bags.