During Eric’s college years, I was ever mindful of not wanting to wear out the welcome of No-bake Peanut Butter Bars, as unlikely as that may seem. Knowing that Eric shared a house with four other young men left me fairly confident that they would not go uneaten. In reality, I didn’t want to be the one-trick pony mom. No-bake Peanut Butter Bars are not exactly a culinary feat, but they do ship well. Shipping from Yakima to Bellingham could take anywhere from two to four days, so bake-it & ship-it was often the filter I used when deciding what to bake for Eric during his time at Western Washington University.
Granola became a regular rotation in Eric’s care packages. My go-to granola recipe for several years was from the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics Cookbook. Following the recipe are suggestions for several different combinations of nuts, dried fruit and nuts, and spices. All in all, a great recipe. Not too sweet, great textures. But was the it the best?
Each time I ran across a granola recipe I would mentally compare it to the Moosewood recipe. It if seemed to meet my minimum qualifications I would make a batch. I don’t do chocolate in my granola, nuts are must, and so is texture. Often as not the new found recipe did not make it into permanent rotation. Too sweet. Bland. No bite. Back to Moosewood, but ever on the prowl.
The internet can be a dangerous thing when in search of the best recipe. When searching for a recipe I tend to go to my favorite blogs/food writers as a starting point. Being an ardent admirer of Molly Wizenberg, I’ve made each granola recipe posted on Orangette. From there it was on to the NY Times, Food52, Ina Garten, Giada, Gwenyth, Cook’s Illustrated, Bobby Flay. Naught. Nil. Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Nada. Bupkis.
About two years ago I ran across a recipe in Bon Appetit for Dunton Hot Springs Granola. The recipe, being heavy on nuts and seeds, met all of my minimum criteria for a granola and then some. After making several batches over the course of a month, I made a few modifications that have made this my all time favorite granola recipe to date. I do still look when I run across a new granola recipe, but so far this still ranks #1.
Hearty Granola (adapted from Dunton Hot Springs Granola)
Note: I like irregularly, fairly good-sized pieces of nuts in granola. I do not chop the nuts in this recipe, instead I put them in a gallon-sized ziplock bag & smash them with a kitchen mallet–or if time allows I break the nuts by hand into pieces.)
2 cups old-fashioned oats (NOT quick oats!)
1/2 cup raw cashews (see note above)
1/2 cup raw pecans (see note above)
1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/3 cup raw almonds, very coarsely chopped (or slivered blanched almonds)
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked organic coconut
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
1/3 cup buckwheat groats (Available in most health food stores or well stocked grocery stores; you can substitute w/ the same amount of oats.)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300°. Toss oats, cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, almonds, flaked coconut, groats, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, salt & cardamom together in a large mixing bowl. In medium-sized bowl combine honey, maple syrup, & vanilla extract; add melted coconut oil, stir together. Gradually add liquid mixture to oat mixture, stirring until thoroughly combined.
Spread out on a parchment-lined rimmed-baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Begin watching carefully at 30 minutes. Depending on the size of your baking sheet it may take anywhere from 35 to 60 minutes. Let granola cool on pan, then break into clusters.
DO AHEAD: Granola can be made 2 weeks ahead & stored airtight at room temperature, or in a ziplock bag in the freezer, indefinitely.
I frequently double, triple or quadruple this recipe to share or store for later. Great on ice cream or by itself as a snack.