The Best Granola Ever

Don’t ask me how much it costs, I’ve forgotten how much I paid for the pumpkin seeds (from Trader Joes sometime last year?) and the deeply discounted dark chocolate almond butter (Grocery Outlet) since they weren’t regular purchases, just splurgy ones.  I’ll break down the costs at some point.

Best Granola
3.5 cups rolled oats
2 cups of any/all of the following: sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped almonds, chopped cashews, whatever
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp [sea] salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or butter)
1/2 cup maple syrup (can cut with brown rice syrup, see note below)
1/4-1/2 cup nut butter (almond, peanut, chocolate-nut, whatever)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional, I never use this since I don’t have it on hand)

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, seeds/almonds/whatever, cinnamon and salt.  Mix well.
In a small pan, melt butter/oil, add syrup and nut butter and stir to blend.
Remove from heat and add extract(s).
Slowly pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, using a spatula to fold and evenly coat the dry mixture with the wet.
Spread out onto parchment paper, and pop in the dehydrator overnight.  I tend to do 125*F all night long (it sounds like a freight train, harder to hear kids during the day when it’s on).
Let fully cool, then break apart and store in an airtight jar.

So.  My notes.

I found the magic to make granola actually clump!  Brown Rice Syrup.  That half cup of maple syrup?  I used some of the brown rice syrup instead as a sweetener/sticky thing.  I tried honey, I tried butter, those didn’t work.  They made yummy granola, but the clumps just fell apart and melted in your mouth.  This still melts in your mouth, but you still can have nice sized chunks.

I also use the dehydrator because, well, it’s fool-proof.  I’ve burnt granola in the oven.  I’ve burnt granola in the crockpot.  Seriously.  The dehydrator?  Totally amazing.  Turns out yummy every. single. time.

Don’t use chia seeds.  Trust me.  They get all static-y and don’t even stick to the granola clumps (maybe if you used a bunch of brown rice syrup?).

Chop up the nuts into bite sized pieces.  I used whole cashews once because I was being lazy.  Whoops.  Sigh.
This particular batch?  I cracked open a bottle of dark chocolate almond butter, used sunflower seeds and cashews, mini chocolate chips, and tried the magical brown rice syrup.  I made hubby take a taste, and even he was impressed.  He usually tolerates my playing around with recipes, and I’ll totally pop the chicken nuggets into the freezer if I manage to have a bomb of a recipe.  But with me playing around with different things, we end up with some really great ones like this granola, Bourbon Molasses Chicken, and so on.



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