Guest Banana: Cooking With Lane – Homemade Granola

(Editor’s Note: I asked my super-chef friend Lane to come up with some easy holiday recipes for those of us who aren’t so naturally talented in the culinary arts. This is the first post, with a recipe for an awesome treat to give out during this festive season. And, I may add, one that makes it look like you did a ton of work, when really, it is so very easy. Shhhhh, it’s our secret!)

Homemade Granola
Makes about 10 cups

Package this granola in a jam jar, and you’ll have a charming gift for friends, families or neighbors. I’ve given this to new homeowners and parents, but also like to keep it at the house for a special, weekday snack. (Ed. Note: And lookout if you keep it at the house, as you may eat the whole bag in a day…ahem.)

This recipe was adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast.

Dry ingredients:
5 c. rolled or old fashioned oats (don’t buy the quick cooking kind)
1 ½ c. pecans
1 ½ c. almond slivers
1 c. hulled sunflower seeds (unsalted)
¾ c. light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt

Wet ingredients:
¾ c. unsweetened applesauce
1/3 c. good maple syrup (no Aunt Jemima here)
¼ c. honey
2 tbsp. canola oil

Preheat oven to 300° F.

In a huge bowl (I used a giant Pyrex 6-cup container), combine all of the dry ingredients. Stir to mix well.

Granola 1

In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Stir to mix well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients a little at a time, mixing after each new addition. This will make it much easier to combine. When the ingredients are combined, pour ½ of the mixture on to a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the remaining half onto another rimmed baking sheet.

Granola 2

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until evenly golden brown. Every 10 minutes, stir the granola. After 20 minutes, rotate the pans (move the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top). This will help it to cook evenly.

Granola 3

When it’s lightly browned, remove from the oven and give it a stir to break it up.

After it’s cooled, you can store it for yourself in the fridge or package it as a gift. (Ed Note: Or, when it’s cooling, hover over the pans picking out pieces that aren’t too hot and eat them…you know, whatever.)

Granola 4

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