Inspired by squirrels still foraging fallen acorns and pecans before winter sets in, I've created my own crunchy and nutty treat with which I will welcome the crisp and cool mornings.
A nicely wrapped bag of granola also makes a wonderful holiday gift. I have added cinnamon and nutmeg for a taste of the season. The great thing about granola: You can add and substitute ingredients however you'd like!
- 4 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk (or soy milk)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 cup agave nectar (or honey, or syrup)
- 1/8 cup peanut oil (or sunflower oil)
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened
- 1 cup crushed walnuts
- 1/3 cup crushed pecans
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
Adjust oven rack to lower third position and preheat at 250 degrees.
Combine almond milk, brown sugar, agave nectar, peanut oil, almond extract and nutmeg. Work out clumps of brown sugar with wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Stir in shredded coconut, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, nutmeg and cinnamon. Finally, fold in oats one cup at a time until they are evenly coated and form clusters.
Empty mixture into a rimmed baking pan lined with a nonstick baking sheet or parchment paper. Push mixture down evenly with spatula until it is about a 1/2 inch thick throughout. Bake in oven for 25 minutes and rotate pan. Bake for another 25 minutes (add 10 minutes for extra crunchy). Remove from oven and let granola cool in pan. Once cool, break off granola in large chunks and enjoy!
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