I’ll be the very first to admit: I am not a morning person. I’m slow to regain consciousness, and that process is not without a fair amount of toe-stubbing and brow-furrowing and snarling unpleasantness. I’m not proud of it, and I’m quick to apologize if necessary, but I am pretty lousy company in the early morning hours.
My husband has learned to shove coffee in my direction and wait patiently until the fog lifts, when I’m ready to settle into my command of language and basic manners. My first housemate (Mom) didn’t have it quite so easy, during those pre-Starbucks days when plying a growing child with espresso was generally frowned upon. (Joke’s on us, seeing as how I’m now well over 5’9″ and could have handled a little growth-stunting. Mother’s little helper might have been a macchiato.)
I will, however, pop out of bed with a bright eye and a bushy tail for a few rare occasions: frying bacon (I dare you to find someone who’s immune), Christmas, camping. (Note the higher probability of bacon during camping trips and over Christmas. Correlation or causation?) And, bacon-free, whenever there’s homemade granola in the house.
I know. Very wholesome, Kate. How positively Laura Ingalls Wilder of you, making homemade granola. Well, make fun all you want, but just make a batch and get back to me. Your whole kitchen will warm up with golden wafts of cinnamon and brown sugar and oats and toasted pecans, and you’ll take deep, soul-soothing breaths of all that homey goodness and you’ll think: that grouchy lady is on to something. This is rise-and-shine, crunchy-sweet, who’s-ready-for-a-great-day, stick-with-you-til-noon, exceedingly delicious stuff. You might not even need that second cup of coffee after all.
- 3 C old-fashioned oats (not quick-cooking or steel-cut)
- 1 C pecans, walnuts and/or almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/2 C shredded coconut
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 (generous) tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 C honey
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 C assorted dried fruit, roughly chopped if needed
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the first seven ingredients. (Set the dried fruit aside for now.)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the honey and vegetable oil, stirring, until combined and the honey loosens up. Pour the honey and oil over the oat mixture, mixing well to coat all of the ingredients. Spread in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake until well-browned and fragrant, stirring every ten minutes or so, for about 40 minutes total. Let the granola cool, about 10-15 minutes, and add the dried fruit.
Note: the finished granola will keep, tightly sealed, for a week or two.