8 cups rolled organic oats
3/4 cup coconut butter
1 1/2 cups whey
1-2 cups water
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tsp sea salt
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp vanilla extract
The day before you plan to make your granola, put the oats in a large crock pot. I buy my oats in bulk from Bread Beckers. It's far less expensive to purchase grains in bulk if you use them as frequently as we do.
In a measuring cup, put the coconut oil and butter in and then place in a saucepan half full of simmering water. On a low heat, simmer the water. Stir the oil and butter in the measuring cup until completely melted. **note: do this on a low heat and bring up to temperature slowly so you don’t break the glass. Use an oven mitt to remove the glass measuring cup so you don’t burn your hand.
Pour the melted butter and oil, and then the whey and water into the crock filled with oats and stir well. You don’t want the mixture too wet as to create mush, but you do want everything wet so that the soaking process will remove all the phytic acid. Allow to sit, covered for 24 hours as it takes this long when you are soaking oats. For more on soaking grains, see my post on soaking.
The next day, mix the honey, syrup, sea salt, cinnamon and vanilla extract into a glass measuring cup. Place in a pot of simmering water and stir until melted. Pour over the soaked oats and mix to incorporate everything well. Your oats will be somewhat lumpy(see above). Its okay not to completely separate all the grains as the lumps will produce “clusters” later. Spread on two large baking sheets that have been lined with parchment or are well-oiled. Do not pack the granola down, just spread it out evenly in the pans.
Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours and check. Bake for an additional 2-3 hours, checking every 30 minutes until granola is dry and crisp. 4 hours usually produces a soft granola, 5-6 will give you that traditional crunch but watch it so you don’t burn it around the edges. You can also do this in your food dryer, just make sure you make the layers thin enough so that you don’t have to cook for so long that your oats become unrecognizable dough. When it is done, remove the pans and loosen the granola with a spatula. Then, allow to cool completely on the sheets before removing to a large bowl. As the granola cools it will become more crisp.
Once it is cool, add additions to your liking. Mix well to incorporate the additions into your granola. Store in an airtight container and keep in a cool dry place. Makes approximately 5 quarts.
The nuts and dried fruit can be mixed and matched to create the flavor your family loves the most. We have experimented with many combinations using all fruit, all nuts or combinations. Recently I got a really good deal on coconut so this batch(above) has quite a bit. This particular version tastes great served with warm milk. At the bottom of this post are some examples.
1 cup dried shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1 1/4 cup dried fruit (chopped dried apples, cranberries, figs, pineapple, etc)
1/2 cup seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, etc)
1 cup chopped nuts(almonds, walnuts, pecans)
1 1/4 cup dried shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried chopped pineapple
1/2 cup dried banana chips
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
Prior to baking, stir in
1/4 cup flax seeds (mix in with honey and agave syrup prior to baking)
2 T tahini
2 T peanut butter
After cooling, stir in:
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup sliced almonds