By Jeanne Foels, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
Nothing beats pulling a pan of crispy, fragrant, golden-brown granola from the oven. Whether you pair it with yogurt for breakfast or munch on it for a snack, granola is tasty, convenient and nutritious. Sous chef and baker Cassie Mead created the following recipe for the Open Arms kitchen, and we think it's a winner.
Customize this granola with your favorite combination of nuts and dried fruit. When Cassie made a batch for our clients last week, she used dried papayas and bananas, cashews and delightful chunks of dark chocolate. Mmm! The dried ingredients she used, including the grains and seeds, were donated by Second Harvest Heartland -- our thanks to them for their help in getting nutritious food to our clients!
(Makes about 18 cups)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup oil
1/4 tbsp. salt
1/4 tbsp. cinnamon
8 1/2 cups oats
2 cups oat bran
2 cups flax seed
3 cups nuts
Dried fruit and chocolate to taste
1. In a sauce pan, mix brown sugar, molasses, honey, oil and spices together. Heat on stove until the mixture comes to a slow boil and the sugar is all dissolved.
2. Combine oats, bran, flax seed and nuts in a large bowl. When sugar mixture is ready, carefully pour over the oats. Mix together until everything is coated and divide amongst two or three baking sheets lined with parchment.
3. Bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes. Rotate pans and mix granola. Return to oven for another 5 minutes and check for doneness. The granola should be toasted and crispy.
4. When granola is cool, mix in dried fruit and chocolate.