Granola and Copious Amounts of Granola

Hilda’s Granola was the beacon of Christmas gifts in the church office.  We coveted our yearly bag and made a tradition of polishing it off within 24 hours and then spending the rest of the year pining for more.  Sometimes I’d make us wait until Christmas Day to break into the granola…a work of restraint not appreciated by my husband.

And then they moved to another church, and now another group of people are the lucky recipients of Hilda’s Granola.  Lucky them.

But lucky me, Hilda is a generous and loving person and gave me her recipe.  And her mother-in-law’s recipe, the originator of the granola goodness.

And now, years later, I have made it enough times that I am beginning to think of it as My Granola.  And, indeed, when I made a five gallon bucket full of it when my family came to visit in the spring and we consumed it all before the end of the visit, I think that they also think of it as my granola.

But it’s really Hilda’s.

And it’s really yummy.

Presented here with my spin.

Delicious Granola

  • 2 cups wheat germ
  • 2 cups flaked or shredded coconut
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 cups oats (quick, long, or a mixture)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup water (or more)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • dash of almond extract (optional)

In a very large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, tossing with a large spoon until the moisture is evenly distributed.

Spray two 9×13 casserole pans (or, alternately, two cookie sheets) with Pam.  Divide granola into the pans.  Bake at 200F – 250F for 1 1/2 hours, stirring halfway through.  It will turn a light golden brown and become crispy.  Cool completely.

Add nuts and dried fruit “to your preference and budget”.  (Direct quote from the original!  I think of it every time!)

Making Granola in Bulk

I buy the dry ingredients haphazardly and in copious amounts.  In a (clean! unused!) paint bucket, I combine the dry ingredients using the above ratio.  This bucket is pulled out to make individual batches as needed and really makes it easy peasy.

When using the bulk dry mixture, use the following recipe to fill up the oven::

  • 20 cups dry mixture
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1-1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond extract (optional)

In a bucket or other large container, mix the wet and dry ingredients together until the moisture is evenly distributed…you don’t want it to be soggy and clumping.  Divide into four 9×13 casserole pans.  Bake at 200F – 250F for 1 1/2 hours, stirring halfway through.  It will turn a light golden brown and become crispy.  Cool completely.

Notes ::

  • I prefer using casserole dishes like Pyrex (versus cookie sheets) because it is easy to stir the granola without making a mess.
  • The shredded coconut gives the granola body while the flaked coconut gives it YUM.
  • The add-ins are what really drive this recipe.
  • Our favorite add-ins are toasted pecans, toasted almonds (either whole or slivered), toasted sunflower seeds, raisins, and sulfured raisins.

There are many undocumented variations on this theme – generous sprinklings of cinnamon, honey substitutions, trials with applesauce.  As I said, undocumented.  I’m seriously considering adding some flax meal to the next incarnation and giving honey another go…

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8 thoughts on “Granola and Copious Amounts of Granola

  1. Ooh… I’ve actually been in the throes of granola-making myself. But in comparing my recipe with yours – yours uses a lot less oil.. but more sugar. Hmm. Pick your poison? About the add-ins, though – do you mix and bake WITH the add-ins, or do you add after it’s out of the oven?

  2. I’ve tried it with less sugar, but it just isn’t as good…and I don’t like sweet things very much. It really isn’t sweet at all, even with the 2 cups of sugar. Honey, perhaps? (Choose your evil, more sugar or more money, haha).

    About the add ins, I toast the nuts and stuff separately…they each have different toasting times. That’s really what takes time…

  3. My recipe is almost the same except I use either honey or maple syrup instead of all brown sugar. I also heat up the sugar, oil & flavorings with the water to make it easier to mix.

    If I add raisins, or dried cranberries I wait until it’s all baked this stir them in. It’s a good way to clean out the pantry.

  4. Michelle, what are your proportions for the honey, syrup, etc.? Wow, they all sound delicious, I want to try them and play with the recipes. My breakfast at Leilani’s was a bowl of granola with frozen mixed berries and soy milk nukes – it was like eating wonderful fruit cobbler every day for breakfast – I think I ate half of Leilani’s 5 gallons of granola!! Yum

  5. Oh, goodness, Aimee, you want details? Hmmm, for the 20 cup method, maybe one cookie sheet’s worth of nuts and seeds, single layer? A cup of raisins? Maybe one cup of nuts and seeds for the original recipe? I’m kind of guessing here…but maybe that will help. Let me know what you end up doing!

  6. Leilani- thank you very much for sharing – I’ve been waiting for your recipe. Not terribly different than mine but I add maple syrup- maple extract and vanilla extract along with whole pecans, sesame seeds, wheat germ, raw whole almonds and various textures of coconut. I will enjoy playing with yours some too! Lovely! Yummy! 🙂

  7. Patti,

    To be honest I don’t really measure exactly & I never make it the same twice. I use about 1 cup of brown sugar & maybe 1 cup of honey or a mixture of honey & maple syrup. If I don’t have maple syrup in the house then I may ad maple flavoring. I heat up the liquids & taste test too. Even though I am not a sugar person & do like my granola on the sweet side.

    Michele

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