Today we made a nut-free granola as a gift for MZ's teachers. It occurs to me that I started this blog when she was eating baby food, and here she is customizing a recipe with me. And she's good! We love our new granola, although I crave almonds and pecans I will go with her nut-free version.
I looked at several recipes, finally landing on a basic ratio based on a combination of Mark Bittman's, Cook's Illustrated and the Cafe Beaujolais recipes. Bascially, we decided on 6 cups grains:2 cups nuts/seeds: 1/2 cup oil:2/3 c. sweetener:1 cup dried fruit. I switched out wheat germ for millet, because I forgot to buy wheat germ and no one was very fond of the millet muffins I made several months ago (MZ actually called them Bird Seed Muffins), but YMMV. This is exceptionally adaptable, and I imagine we'll be tinkering with it on into the future.
MZ's Nut-free Granola
5 1/2 c rolled oats (not quick or steel cut)
1/2 c millet
1 c unsweetened flake coconut
1/2 c raw pepitas
1/4 c unsalted sunflower seeds
3 T ea. sesame seeds and ground golden flax seed
1/3 c each light brown sugar and maple syrup
1 t vanilla
1/2 t ea cinnamon and cardamom
1/2 t salt
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c cacao nibs
Preheat over to 325 degrees. Line two jellyroll pans with parchment paper and set aside. Combine first seven ingredients (grains and seeds) in a large mixing bowl.
Heat sugar, syrup, vanilla, spices and salt over medium heat. Whisk in vegetable oil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over grain mixture and stir to combine.
Divide mixture between two pans, spread into a flat even layer. Place in oven and bak for 20 minutes. Stir mixture thoroughly and switch spots when returning them to oven. Bake 20 minutes, keep checking each 5 minutes after mixture becomes very fragrant, bake to desired toastiness. Remove from oven, stir and place pans on wire racks.
When completely cool, stir in cacao nibs and cherries, pour into a scrupulously clean and dry sealed storage container. Will keep several weeks if kept covered.