Make your own granola- it's easy, and yummier and cheaper than anything you'll find in the store. Plus, you can say one of my all time favorite things to say, "There's nothing more granola, than making your own granola."
Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 275 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch metal pan with cooking spray, then set aside. Mix oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt and Extra Ingredients --except dried fruit -- in a bowl. Bring syrup, oil, water and any Flavoring indicated below to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Drizzle over oat mixture, and stir to combine. Pour mixture onto prepared pan. Squish it down on the baking sheet with your spatula to form and even layer. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Let cool. (Granola can be stored in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.)
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Extra Ingredients (see complete list below)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
3 Tbs. flavorless oil, such as vegetable or canola
3 Tbs. water
Flavoring (see below)
1. Classic Granola
Extra Ingredients: 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup sweetened flake coconut, 1/3 cup dark or golden raisins
Flavoring: 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
You can replace the 1/4 cup of maple syrup with 2 Tbs. each of maple syrup and molasses.
For the granola you had at my house- I put a few shakes of cinnamon in with the dry ingredients as well as with the wet/ heated ingredients. I also swapped out pecans for walnuts, and added banana chips. Buy unsweetened coconut and banana chips to make it lighter. My other favorite variation is dried cherries and almonds. Do head the advice and don't over bake the dried fruit- it bursts and then burns. After you try it out, if you find you are not getting enough clumps- bump up the wet ingredients next time.