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.
- 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.
- 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…