Because Baking is Creative: Nutty Granola

When I made Tex Mix granola not too long ago, I tried out a few other granola combinations before I decided on one. This recipe was a close second to my Tex Mix, and only because it wasn't "snack consistency" (it's not a finger food). In fact, I think I prefer this one as a breakfast food or snack with milk or yogurt over the other. (Don't get me wrong, they're both darn good!)

Happy granola making...and eating!

Nutty Granola
from Emeril Lagasse

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or pine nuts
1/2 cup crushed pecans or walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins, or chopped dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries, or combination

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl stir together oats, almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, cinnamon and salt. In a small saucepan melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring. Add vanilla and pour butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until combined well.

On a large baking sheet, spread the granola evenly in a thin layer. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes to keep from sticking or burning, until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. (Do not overcook; the granola will crisp more when cooled.) Cool the granola on the pan on top of the stove and stir in dried fruits. Granola may be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Serve at room temperature in a bowl with milk, or as a snack.

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