Winning recipes from Salon.com’s Granola kitchen challenge last year:
see all the recipes’ descriptions here, or check them out individually below:
- “Reluctant Hippie Granola”
- Extra Rich “Granola for a Near-Perfect World”
- Chunky vs. Crumbly “Granola for Dragging the Babies Around”
- Chocolate Granola
- Raisin & Date “Grainola”
- Accidental Hippie “Mama Granola”
- “Heart-Healthy Müesli” / Granola
- Extra Nutty Granola
- “Cheap & Easy” Parfait Granola
- Brilliant Granola “Flapjacks”
1. Reluctant Hippie Category: Jeanette DeMain’s “I Guess I Really Am a Hippie” Granola
- 4 cups regular rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, or any combination thereof)
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup raw wheat germ
- 1/2 cup nonfat milk powder (you can leave this out if you want your granola to be vegan)
- 1/4 cup flax seeds or flax meal
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup wheat bran
- 1/4 cup oat bran
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup honey (substitute maple syrup or agave if you want your granola to be vegan)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons apple butter (or other fruit preserves)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, dates, cherries, blueberries, or any combination thereof)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Combine all dry ingredients (oats through cinnamon) in a large bowl.
3. Combine all wet ingredients (honey through vanilla extract) in a measuring cup.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry and combine well. The mixture will still appear somewhat dry and loose. The object is just to coat the dry ingredients evenly with the honey mixture.
5. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking pan.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring thoroughly every 10 minutes. (Stirring is very important. This helps everything to toast and brown evenly).
7. Let cool completely in pan, add the dried fruit and mix well. (You don’t have to add the fruit at this step. If you want, simply add the fruit to individual servings.)
8. Store in an airtight container. Keeps well for several weeks, even without refrigeration.
2. Extra Rich Category: Mamie Chen’s “Granola for a Near-Perfect World”
- 3 cups of rolled oats
- 3/4 cup of shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup of pine nuts
- 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of grape seed oil
- 1/4 cup of dried currants
- 1/4 cup of dried blueberries
- 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1. Preheat the oven to 325F (165C)
2. Mix together the oats, coconut. pine nuts, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In a small pan, mix together the honey and oil over medium heat.
4. Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and stir thoroughly so the oats are thoroughly and evenly coated by the honey. Spread the mixture evenly on a cookie sheet.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and immediately stir in the dried fruit. If you prefer granola clusters, press the mixture firmly back into the cookie sheet and let cool before stirring to break up the large clusters. If you prefer loose granola, stir and loosen up the granola before it cools down.
3. Chunky vs. Crumbly Category: Lucy Mercer’s “Granola for Dragging the Babies Around”
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1. Preheat oven to 325. Measure oil, syrup and honey into a small saucepan and heat to a low boil; remove from heat and let cool.
2. In mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add oil and syrup mixture and stir in to the dry ingredients. Spread granola mixture onto a lined sheet pan. (I use a Silpat, foil or parchment paper would work). Bake at 325 for 25 minutes (I use convection), stirring once halfway through.
3. Remove from oven and let cool. If you like chunky granola, do not stir during the cooling. If you like a crumbly texture, stir several times as it cools. Keeps well in an airtight container at room temperature.
Notes: This granola comes together very easily in a batter bowl that has marks on the side – no dry measuring cups needed. Add dried fruit after granola is baked.
4. Chocolate Category: Zul’s “Chocolate Granola”
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 2 T. sugar, granulated
- A pinch of salt
- 6 T. mild honey
- 2 T. oil
- 2 T Golden syrup*
- 2 heaping T cocoa
- 1/2 cup, or more, finely chopped chocolate mixed dark and white
- 1/2 c raisins or dried cherries
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. Combine oats, almonds, coconut, sugar, and salt in a large bowl
3. Warm the honey, golden syrup and oil in a small saucepan over low heat until the mixture is warm and loose. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir.
4. Smear the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown -about 20 minutes, or until golden. Stir the mixture halfway through.
5. Sift cocoa over granola 5 minutes before it is finished cooking and stir it in.
6. When it’s ready, remove the pan from the oven, stir again and pour into a bowl.
7. Add the chopped chocolate and dried fruit to the hot mixture and stir, coating the granola with an even coat of melted chocolate.
8. Cool completely.
* Lyles Golden Syrup. If you don’t know about this yet, you need to find a purveyor of British goods and pick up a bottle of amber goodness. Just try not to eat all of it by sucking it off your fingers.
5. Raisin & Date Category: Jonathan Jeffries’ “Grainola”
Makes a Bunch
- Four cups of Dry Oatmeal
- Bunch of dates, big handfuls of raisins,sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chopped up walnuts and almonds and pecans.
- A couple cups of cooked oatmeal
- Two cups of sticky date/raisin syrup (actually just enough to get the dry stuff combined)
Mix up the dry stuff together. Mix in the cooked oatmeal and the syrup stuff. It should be dryer than cookie dough, but wetter just takes longer to bake. Spread the mixture on cookies sheets. Let it bake away. Stir the stuff about every fifteen minutes until you can tell that all the moisture is cooked out of it. You can put a thin coating of cooking oil on the sheet, but you don’t have to. Just lower the temperature to 250° and take more time.
6. Accidental Hippie Category: Linda Shuie’s “Mama Granola”
Makes 8 cups
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 4 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
- 1 cup sliced, untoasted almonds
- 1 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and dried apricots
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Optional: 1/2 cup (or more) dark chocolate chips or coarsely chopped dark chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
3. Stir together oats, almonds, pecans, cherries, coconut, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
4. In a small saucepan, combine oil, honey, and sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
5. Drizzle syrup over oat mixture and toss with a wooden spoon.
6. Pour granola onto a sheet pan and spread evenly. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes so it bakes evenly, until golden (about 25 minutes).
7. Let granola cool completely on baking sheet.
8. Add chocolate chips/chunks if desired.
9. Store in an airtight container.
* * *
Special bonus: If you want to take the health benefits a step further, make Muesli, which is made of uncooked oats and involves no added fat at all. Muesli can be thought of as uncooked granola, made of uncooked oats, fruit and nuts. It was developed around 1900 by the Swiss physician and nutrition researcher Maximilian Bircher-Benner. He served it in his Zurich hospital/sanatorium, where the treatment involved a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, revolutionary at that time, combined with lots of physical activity. My mother would like his ideas.
can be freshly prepared using oats that have been soaked in water or fruit juice, from several minutes to overnight. Other ingredients commonly included are additional grated or chopped fresh fruit, such has bananas, apples, berries, dried fruit, milk, cream, yogurt or cottage cheese, cinnamon, ground nuts or seeds, and sweetened with a bit of honey.
Original Bircher-Benner Muesli
The original Bircher-Benner recipe has more fruit than grains. One serving based on the original recipe consists approximately of:
- 1 tablespoon rolled oats, soaked in 2–3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cream
- one large apple, preferably a sour variety, finely grated and mixed with the above directly before serving
- optionally top with 1 tablespoon ground hazelnuts or almonds
7. Muesli Category: Fusun Atalay’s “Heart-Healthy Müesli”
Recipe for 2-4 servings
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1/4 cup milled flax seed
- 6 oz container low fat yogurt of choice (I used strawberry)
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- pinch of Kosher salt
- 8 dried apricots (rinsed)
- 1/2 cup walnuts and/or pecans
- 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds, optional
- Fresh fruit or berries of your choice
Cut each apricot into six pieces and chops nuts roughly; set aside. In a mixing bowl with a lid combine yogurt and milk, stir until smooth. Add oat bran, ground flax and salt. Stir until well combined. Stir in apricots and nuts. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, stir and spoon into serving bowls. Add sunflower seeds (if you are using). Decorate with berries or peach slices for more nutrition and flavour. If you prefer a thinner müesli, add more milk or some half-and-half to desired consistency.
8. Extra Nutty: Jenna Charlton’s “Extra Nutty Granola”
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup of hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup chopped Brazil nuts
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- 1/2cup of Sultan raisins
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix together dry ingredients. Melt butter and mix with maple syrup. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Grease of cover a cookie tray with parchment paper. Spread mixture evenly on cookie tray. Place in oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, turning over or stirring every 15 minutes or so.
Remove when granola is browned. Let cool and then mix in fruit.
For Breakfast: Mix together plain yogurt and granola. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with raspberries.
9. Parfait: Aunt Mabel’s “Cheap and Easy Granola”
- 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 2tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup liquid honey
- 3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened medium coconut
- 1/4 cup sultana raisins or dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped cashew nuts or slivered almonds
Combine all the dry ingredients well. Whisk together the OJ, oil, vanilla and honey. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well coated. Grease a baking sheet and spread granola across it evenly. Bake at 250F for 75 minutes.
Try it with yogurt au naturale or in a fruit parfait. Mmmmm.
10. Brilliant Category: Claire Murray’s “Flapjacks” (Britain’s answer to the granola bar)
50g (~1 3/4 oz) brown sugar
180ml honey (~3/4 cup)
100ml (1/4 cup, 2 Tablespoons) vegetable oil
300g (10.6 oz) oats
400g whatever you fancy (howzabout: dried apricots, raisins, coconut, choc chips, sesame seeds, peanuts, walnuts, dried apple. Remember to chop up any big bits.
–> preheat oven to 180C (356F)
–> heat brown sugar, honey, and vegetable oil gently in saucepan until sugar has dissolved
–> turn off heat & add oats and whatever you fancy
–> pour into a baking tin & bake for 20 mins until golden
–> mark into bars while hot & cut when cool.
–> NOM NOM NOM!