So today was going to be the first day of Fitness Fridays. However, I feel like crap and don't necessarily feel like getting my picture taken doing some sort of humiliating muscle toning move. So, Fitness Fridays will begin next week. Today, I am posting a recipe I found in my newest issue of Cooks Illustrated. If you are a foodie and don't already subscribe to this magazine, you should. They take recipes and perfect them. Sometimes it's worth the effort (like this granola) sometimes it's not (the steps they use to make refried beans is ridiculous).
This granola is amazing. If you like granola and have never made it yourself, you should try it. It is easy and totally worth the effort (not to mention it is soooooo much cheaper). You can also easily change the ingredients to what you have on hand (as I did), or to suit your tastes. Try it cold or hot in milk, on top of yogurt or just by itself out of hand. It is crispy and slightly sweet and nutty... and wonderful!
1/3 c. maple syrup (not pancake syrup, there is a BIG difference)
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
5 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (I have never found a container that says "rolled" only "old-fashioned")
2 c. nuts
2 c. dried fruit
Whisk together maple syrup, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. I also added about 1 tsp. cinnamon because I like it.
Next whisk in the oil.
Fold in the oats and nuts until thoroughly coated. I used half sliced almonds and half chopped walnuts.
Pour into a rimmed baking sheet that is lined in parchment paper.
Press down with a spatula to compact the granola into a solid type layer.
Bake on the upper middle rack at 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Break apart into pieces and stir in dried fruit.
Beautiful. A thing of glory.