When you're feeding four growing kids, dry, boxed cereal gets expensive fast. Plus the boxed stuff is full of sugar, and before the arrival of Kashi to the marketplace, totally lacking in protein and fiber. Like many of the staple foods in the house where we were raised, granola was made from scratch on a regular basis and kept in a big glass jar on the counter. We took it mostly for granted until we were teenagers and our friends made a beeline for it as an after-school snack. Apparently our mother and the modest Mennonite authors of the More-with-Less cookbook were onto something. Both Lilac & Chive sisters make variations of the original recipe every few weeks, keeping it in a big container in our respective pantries and enjoying it with yogurt and fruit for breakfast, out of hand as a snack, or as a crunchy garnish for oatmeal.
Below is Anna's basic recipe, sans toasted nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. Those can be added after baking and cooling, or better, sprinkled in when it is time to eat (the granola will stay fresher longer without the add-ins). Makes for a fantastic hostess or holiday gift!
Family Favorite Granola
(Adapted from More-WIth-Less by Doris Janzen Longacre)
Makes 3 quarts (or one giant vintage fruit cocktail jarful)
2 cups whole wheat flour
6 cups old fashion rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup wheat germ
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 cup safflower oil
1 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg white, whisked well
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 250-degrees.
2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a (very) large mixing bowl (flour through cinnamon).
3. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and fold into the dry, stirring to mix thoroughly.
4. Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray. Spread the granola evenly. Bake 30 minutes, remove from oven, flip in large chunks, rotate pans and bake an additional 30 minutes.
5. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.