I used to eat a lot of Uncle Toby's granola bars as a kid and I've recently become a fan of granola of again. They're really great for breakfast on the go because I can just pop a few chunks in a ziplock bag and munch on them during my commute. All that crunchy fibrous oats tell me I'm getting a good start to my day. If you use complex sugars as sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and dates, you'll get a slow release of energy throughout the day, which is perfect for those I'm-too-busy-for-long-lunches days. Plus, you can custom fit your granola recipes to fit your palette by using your choice of grains, nuts, dried fruits and even chocolate! Finally - and here's the part I like most - granola recipes are almost fail-proof. There are no complicated maneuvers or skills necessary; all you do is measure, mix, bake and break.
If you like loose granola with your milk, yoghurt or ice cream, then you need to bake for 15 minutes, stir and bake for another 10 minutes. To make chunks like mine, press your mixture down firmly to make a compact layer in your pan, then bake for 25 minutes straight. Be sure to let it cool completely before breaking the granola into chunks. Otherwise they'll crumble into little pieces and you might burn your fingers (duh!).
I experimented with using egg white to help the granola clump better but it took a little bit more work to get everything sufficiently crispy. The granola turned out just as chunky without the egg white so I'd suggest skipping the extra work.
Vanilla Coffee Granola
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped or sliced almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconuts
1 1/2tbs honey
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs instant coffee mix dissolved in 1 1/2 tbs hot water
1/4 tsp salt
1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Stir to mix everything well. It may take a few minutes to make sure all the liquids are evenly distributed.
3. Pour mixture into 12"x12" cake pan lined with parchment paper. Press down firmly to make an even and compact layer of mixture.
4. Bake for 25 minutes at 325F. To make granola chunks: Bake for 15 minutes, rotate your pan to make sure the granola bakes evenly, and continue baking for another 10 minutes. To make loose granola: bake for 15 minutes, stir and bake for another 10 minutes.
5. Cool completely before breaking into chunks. Store in an airtight container.