I first discovered granola-making after college, when I was living in Brooklyn. It had oats in it, and nuts, so I figured it was healthy, right? One morning, while I was clinking happily away at the sides of my cereal bowl, scooping up every last morsel, one of my roommates offered, casually,
“You know that’s like eating dessert for breakfast, right?”
“What?” I shrieked, in genuine surprise.
“Yeah. I’ve seen you make that stuff, it has, like, a stick of butter in it.”
To my chagrin, I realized she was right. My granola had oats, true, but they were soaked in butter, which made them crunchy and wonderful, but better suited to an apple crumble than a breakfast bowl. In response, I embarked on a hunt for healthy granola, looking high and low for something that belonged in a bowl, with milk, before 9 a.m., right where I wanted it. I was rewarded with this wonderful recipe, which I’ve been tweaking for years. It makes about 20 half-cup servings, or 40 quarter-cup servings. It’s pretty filling stuff, so a half cup with milk or a quarter cup with yogurt and fresh fruit is more than enough. The recipe has very little fat, so the granola won’t form large clusters, but it will be truly delicious and healthy. Enjoy it!
Awesome Low-Fat Walnut-Goji Berry Granola
- 8 cups old-fashioned oats (Don’t use quick oats, they’ll be a soggy mess)
- 1.5 cups chopped walnuts or almonds
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Optional: 1 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup honey or maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons Canola Oil (can substitute 9 tablespoons flax meal for oil)
- 1 cup Goji berries (or your dried fruit of choice–apricots, apples, etc)
Method: Preheat oven to 325° F. Combine oats, nuts, spices, salt, and flaxmeal (if using), in the largest bowl you have. Pour water, honey/syrup, and oil (if using), into a medium saucepan and heat over medium-low. (Avoid small saucepans, the mixture boils over very easily–I’ve done this countless times!) When the liquids develops a white foam and come to a low boil, turn off heat. Pour the liquid mixture quickly over the oats and stir to combine with a large wooden spoon. Spread then granola into two rimmed, ungreased 9×13 baking pans and cook for 35 minutes. Every 10-15 minutes, take the pans out to stir and re-flatted the mixture. If your pans don’t fit side-by-side, switch their racks when you put them back in the oven. Once granola is toasted and golden-brown, remove the pans and let them cool completely. Then, carefully dump both pans back into your large bowl, stir in the dried fruit, and then spoon into an air-tight container for up to 1 month. Bon Appetit!