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Vanilla Granola

Vanilla Granola made with Manion's Vanilla

Ingredients for Vanilla Granola:

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup toasted wheat germ (I favor Kretschmer Honey Crunch)
1/2 unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsalted roasted almonds (or alternative unsalted roasted nut of your choice, such as walnut, cashew, pecan)
1 teaspoon Manion’s Vanilla Bean Salt, or kosher salt
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup organic honey
1/8 cup Vermont or Maine Maple Syrup, such as Stonewall Kitchen
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons Manion’s Vanilla
1 cup black raisins (or alternative raisin or dried fruit, such as blueberry, cranberry, apricot, cherry)

Steps:

  1. Preheat Oven to 300 degrees.
  2. On a large baking sheet lined with parchment, toast the oats until lightly golden. Keep an eye on it.
  3. On stovetop, warm together until low boil the brown sugar, honey, maple syrup and canola oil.
  4. Stir Manion’s Vanilla into liquid glaze.
  5. In a large bowl, pour the toasted oats, and add the sunflower seeds nuts and wheat germ.
  6. Pour over the sweet glaze and stir throughly until everything is well coated.
  7. Pour out granola mixture onto a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and spread and flatten out to even layer.
  8. Place tray in preheated 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and crispy. Keep an eye on it.
  9. Cool on counter top until completely cool, or leave overnight.
  10. Add raisins and toss together to create your homemade granola mixture that is delicious and beautiful.

Remarks:

It’s such a treat to make and share homemade Vanilla Granola. This is a versatile recipe that you can customize to your favorite fruit and nut combination, or omit either. It is infinitely scalable; double the recipe if you like. Like everything, the quality of the recipe is based on the quality of the ingredients you use.

Where to Source Nuts & Fruits
Quality nuts and dried fruits are expensive, but save when shopping at places that sell these items at high volume. If you haven’t stepped into a local Indian Market in your area, now is the time. I patronize Patel Bros. I love all the different kinds of raisins they stock: black, green, golden and more. They also carry nuts in larger bags for when you are making big batches of Vanilla Granola to give as gifts. Another great source for nuts and dried fruits is Trader Joes. When you are buying nuts, be sure to buy unsalted.

About Toasting Nuts
While you can sometimes purchase nuts already toasted, I think it is better to toast the nuts yourself. A technique I learned in culinary school is to chop your nuts before roasting (rather than roast first, chop after). This increases the surface area for caramelization and enhances the flavor. Nuts burn in the oven so easily, so keep an eye on them even at lower temperates. It’s such a drag to burn a tray of nuts given their high cost, so set a timer to be safe.