Some of my New York friends might see the title of this post and think I’ve indeed morphed into a crunchy Berkeley hippy, mumbling on the street about the superiority of old fashion oats over simply rolled…er…well…just make this granola and realize that it’s wonderful.
This granola bar recipe brought to you by way of Alton Brown, one of my heroes. He knows so much about the way food works. He’s the Bill Nye of cooking. His recipes go that extra step to optimize each component — in this case, using dark brown sugar instead of white or light brown gives it a deeper, richer, more complex sweetness; using old-fashioned rolled oats makes the texture more satisfyingly crunchy and better for you than instant oats, which are pre-cooked and flash-dried, robbing them of their fiber and nutrients. Alton rules. This granola kicks every store-bought granola’s butt.
Yields approximately 16 2-inch squares.
What you’ll use:
8 ounces old-fashioned rolled oats, approximately 2 cups
1 1/2 ounces raw sunflower seeds, approximately 1/2 cup
3 ounces sliced almonds, approximately 1 cup
1 1/2 ounces wheat germ, approximately 1/2 cup
6 ounces honey, approximately 1/2 cup
1 3/4 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 1/4 cup packed
1 ounce unsalted butter (I use Earth Balance), plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 1/2 ounces chopped dried fruit, any combination you like (I used cranberries, mango and papaya; apricot, cherries and blueberries are also delicious)
Baking dish (can be 9×9, mine happened to be 9×12 so the bars were a bit thinner), baking sheet, medium saucepan, silicon or wooden spoon, large sturdy knife
What you do:
“Butter” the baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and wheat germ onto the baking sheet.
Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to make sure everything toasts evenly.
While the dry ingredients are toasting, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.
Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and turn the heat down to 300°F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture (I hold the baking sheet above the saucepan and slowly pour the dry ingredients into the pan from one corner, using the mixing spoon to help it along), add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. If the mixture seems dry, add a bit more honey.
Turn the mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. This is key, otherwise it will fall apart. Not that crumbly granola isn’t delicious, it’s just not what we’re going for. Once it’s just about room temp, cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
I’ve found this recipe to be a hit with groups – just ask these happy snowshoers!
Hope you give this one a shot, it’s so worth it!