Recipe from Kayla, PopCosmo’s Teen Chef: Granola is the perfect snack because it is sweet, salty, and crunchy, making it both delicious and healthy. It is great on its own, but you can mix it into cereal, layer it with yogurt to make a parfait, sprinkle it on ice cream, or even make it without nuts, fruit and chocolate to use in fruit pie or yogurt pie. This recipe is extremely easy to personalize; you can use any nut, dried fruit, and type of chocolate to fit your taste, and you can add spices and citrus zest to make the flavors more complex. I have included the basic ratio of ingredients in addition to one of my favorite variations, so get creative!
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar 4 tsp Vanilla 1/2 tsp Salt 1/2 Cup Oil 5 Cups Rolled Oats (don't use instant; you'll end up with oatmeal) 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Nuts 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Dried Fruit 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
VARIATION: Pecan, Orange, & Cranberry Granola
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar 4 tsp Vanilla 1/2 tsp Salt 1/2 Cup Oil 5 Cups Rolled Oats 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Pecans 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Dried Cranberries 1 Cup White Chocolate Chips 2 T Orange Zest 1 tsp Cinnamon
Heat oven to 325F and adjust rack to upper-middle position. Line cookie trays with parchment.
Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon (if using), and orange zest (if using). Whisk in the oil, then stir in the oats and nuts.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared tray and spread into a thin, even layer. Press until compact, then bake for 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool to room temperature.
Break the granola into chunks and stir in the dried fruit and chocolate.
Recipe Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
For more delicious recipes by our Teen Chef, Kayla, check out her blog, The Nerdy Chef!