Granola: What Took Me So Long?

I love granola. It’s true, it’s an oatmeal raisin cookie as cereal. Crunchy! Sweet! Sticky! Nutty! Filling! Good for you! What’s not to love?

Well, one, it’s often a bit pricy, and two, and more of a problem, the increased paranoia of peanut or cashew or pecan exposure. Granola mixes come in a wide variety of styles and ingredients, and even when I obsessively scan the ingredient list, I’m always nervous about cross-contamination. It kind of takes away from the enjoyment of eating when, in the back of your mind, you’re a little worried about DEATH.

So, for a long time, I’ve been thinking I should just make my own granola, so I can chug my granola with the peace of mind knowing that no rogue nut is lurking inside.

But I put it off. Most recipes called for what seemed like massive amounts of oats and a dizzying array of dried fruit. I never could remember to pick up unsweetened coconut. I had the wrong type of oats. I was nervous.

The other day, I figured I’d give it a try anyway to see what happened. I started with a recipe but changed everything, to go with what I had in the kitchen. Quick oats instead of rolled oats. No nuts at all. Honey instead of maple syrup. Olive oil instead of canola. Just raisins instead of a selection of four other kinds of dried fruit. Small batch to mitigate any potential losses. So my very simple recipe was just this:

2 cups of quick oats + 1/2 cup brown sugar + 2 T olive oil + 1/4 cup honey.

Mixed. Spread on a baking sheet. Toasted in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes (stirred every ten minutes). 1/2 cup of raisins stirred in afterwards.

OMG, it totally worked.

I guess I was really not expecting it to work at all. But look! It made … granola! Very basic, but it still had the crunch, it still had the sweet, it still had the fiber. And it was warm!

It made just a little jar, that lasted about a day, but having gotten over my fear of granola recipes, I am excited to make more. Especially now that I know that granola can be fairly forgiving as far as adaptation, additions, and subtractions are concerned.