We were hippies, I suppose. I was only 17 back in 1975, when I first met my husband. His super-cool older sister was turning us on to hummus and herbal teas. And I got so inspired when we walked into a health food store in Big Sur on our honeymoon (1976)- at that point, there were no such granola shacks in OUR town, back in Michigan! It didn’t take long before I was exploring granola recipes myself. By the time we opened The New Deli (in 1985), I had come up with a pretty tasty granola that we packaged up for our morning crowd. And, for us, of course!
If you don’t want to make granola in order to make granola bars, just use this recipe for “energy bars” instead!
Use a skillet for this recipe- it’s easier to stir half-way through the baking time. If you want, heat the pan on the stove, stirring the granola mix constantly over medium high heat for 5 minutes or so, until it’s golden. But I prefer putting the skillet in the oven- it gets more evenly baked to perfect crunchiness.
Some of the granola can be used to make “Super Easy Granola Bars” (see recipe, bottom of page). We find those more convenient to eat, since we usually don’t have milk in the house for a bowlful of granola!
Most granola recipes use quite a bit more fat (either olive oil, butter, coconut oil, or more nuts), but I discovered that eating that much oil was unbalancing my Omega 3/6 ratio- in other words, contributing to inflammation and such. So I find this granola to be just right. But you can add more oil if you want!
Also, not everyone includes molasses in their granola recipe. But it’s a great way to get a lot of extra minerals and nutrients. I sub molasses for honey, although I add raw honey to the granola bars instead. It has more enzymes and nutrients that way, when it hasn’t been heated. There’s been quite a stir about grocery-store “honey” not being all it’s cracked up to be (study found here). I think it’s because honey is often super-heated and processed. So I get higher quality raw honey. And then I don’t want to ruin it by heating it myself (hence adding it to granola bars instead, which don’t get heated). That’s my story. My long story about granola…
This makes about 6 c. of granola- 12 servings (or several batches of Granola Bars).
- 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 c. molasses
- 1/4 c. palm sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 c. dates, chopped (about 4 oz.)
- 4 c. rolled oats
- 1/2 c. nuts of choice, chopped
- Optional: 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
- Optional: 1/2 c. raisins
1. Mix together: > 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted > 1/4 c. molasses > 1/4 c. palm sugar > 1 tsp. vanilla > 1 tsp. almond extract > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1 c. dates, chopped (about 4 oz.) > 1/2 c. nuts of choice, chopped > Optional: 1/2 c. sunflower seeds 2. To the above mixture, stir in: > 4 c. rolled oats 3. Mixture will be dry (use hands to mix, if necessary). Turn out into two iron skillets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 4. Remove granola from oven, stir, then bake once more, about 10 more minutes. Let cool. If desired, add last: > 1/2 c. raisins Use the granola in the recipe below, if desired:
Super Easy Granola Bars
This makes about 14 Granola Bars.
- 2 c. Granola (recipe above)
- 2 c. cashews
- 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 c. honey
- 1 TBS. cinnamon
- `1/2 tsp. salt
- Optional: 1 TBS. bee pollen
1. Process into a nut butter, in blender or processor: > 2 c. cashews (or other favorite)
2. Add to nut butter in blender/processor, mix some more: > 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted > 1/4 c. honey > 1 TBS. cinnamon > 1/2 tsp. salt > Optional: 1 TBS. bee pollen
3. Turn nut butter mixture out into a bowl. Process granola until fairly fine (in blender or processor): > 2 c. granola 4. Mix all the ingredients together (“knead” with hands, as dough will be stiff). Press into wax-paper-lined 7″ loaf pan (the smaller size one, if you have it). Chill and least an hour, then cut and wrap pieces in wax paper, storing bars in refrigerator.