Stephanie Jane Carter
My sister, Lauren, got married over Labor Day weekend on our family farm in the Shenandoah Valley. She and her husband, Joe, gave each of their guests a cookbook of the recipes that color their relationship. With their permission, I’m sharing a recipe from the cookbook. According to Lauren,
“I’ve been making granola for Joe and myself for a few years now. Actually, I think it was my friend Ashley Paul who taught me how easy is was to make homemade granola. I started with a recipe from The Barefoot Contessa, but I’ve changed it slightly over time. If you add more oil, the granola will be crunchier. If you add more maple syrup or honey, the oats stick together more. During the summer months, we eat breakfast on the back porch in the morning light. Although we have a bunch of go-to breakfasts, this remains one of our favorites. I make a large batch, store it in an airtight container, and it lasts for a month or more.”
From the Kitchen of Lauren and Joe: Honey Almond Granola
8 cups thick-rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cups sliced almonds (or pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups dried fruit (I like cranberries and raisins)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all of the dry ingredients, except for the dried fruit, in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together honey, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Spread mixture evenly on cookie sheets. Bake, stirring occasionally (about every 15 minutes), until golden brown (about 45 minutes).
Remove granola from oven and allow to cool. Stir in dried fruit.
Serving suggestion: Add milk or yogurt to granola and top with fresh fruit, such as sliced peaches.