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Thread: Homemade granola: crispy/crunchy or chewy?

  1. #1
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    Homemade granola: crispy/crunchy or chewy?

    Does homemade granola tend to be crisp or chewy? And if it just depends on the recipe, what are the defining ingredients for each? For example, if it has honey is that a sign it MUST be chewy or do some of the honey based recipes turn out crispy?

    Thanks, I am a total granola virgin.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

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  2. #2
    This is the recipe I use. It's very tasty and comes out crunchy which I prefer in granola.

    Crunchy Granola Recipe courtesy Kathleen Daelemans
    Show: Cooking Thin
    Episode: Newlywed Gain, Part 1


    1 1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup water
    4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon salt
    8 cups rolled oats
    2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, or slivered almonds

    Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
    Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and reserve.
    Combine brown sugar and water in a 4-cup microwave proof glass measuring cup or bowl. Place in microwave on high for 5 minutes and cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from microwave, add vanilla extract and salt.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, and brown sugar syrup mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Spread the granola onto cookie sheets and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and crunchy.
    When the mixture comes out of the oven, it is still very pliable. You may choose to add in dried fruit as a finishing touch at this time. When granola has cooled completely, store in an airtight container.

    Nutrition Information
    Nutritional Analysis per 1/2 cup serving:
    Calories 294
    Fat 10 g Saturated Fat 1 g
    Carbohydrates 45 g Fiber 4.6 g
    Protein 7.3 g
    Last edited by Hammster; 01-17-2008 at 09:54 AM.

  3. #3
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    I gotta think anything with 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar in it is good. This is going on the to do list.

    Now I notice when it calls for the dried fruit--does that mean (pertaining to my other thread which no one seems to know much about) that I could add chocolate chips at this point or do you think they would melt all over the place?

    But I am going to try this with cranberries for breakfast. The chocolate chip question is for a snack granola. Thanks for posting.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljt2r View Post
    I gotta think anything with 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar in it is good. This is going on the to do list.

    Now I notice when it calls for the dried fruit--does that mean (pertaining to my other thread which no one seems to know much about) that I could add chocolate chips at this point or do you think they would melt all over the place?

    But I am going to try this with cranberries for breakfast. The chocolate chip question is for a snack granola. Thanks for posting.

    I answered this on your other post too, but I would definitely wait to add the chocolate chips once your granola is cooled and you are ready to package it up in an airtight container. And funny you mentioned the snack granola because that is exactly what I was thinking would be best if you added chocolate to it.....I am not sure how it would work as a breakfast (with milk) granola at that point!

    Jessica

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammster View Post
    This is the recipe I use. It's very tasty and comes out crunchy which I prefer in granola.

    Crunchy Granola Recipe courtesy Kathleen Daelemans
    Show: Cooking Thin
    Episode: Newlywed Gain, Part 1
    Hammster- thanks for posting this recipe, I just put a half-batch in the oven (which is a testament to how quickly it comes together!!). I used pecans. I don't know if I will add anything else when it comes out of the oven. Regardless, I will let you know. It sounds awesome
    - Josie


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by avariell View Post
    Hammster- thanks for posting this recipe, I just put a half-batch in the oven (which is a testament to how quickly it comes together!!). I used pecans. I don't know if I will add anything else when it comes out of the oven. Regardless, I will let you know. It sounds awesome
    Keep a close eye on it. Let the doneness of the nuts be your guide.
    I buy this diced dried fruit medley at the local healthy food store near me. So, that gets stirred into the mix once the mix is cooled down.
    Also, I rarely heat the sugar and water in the microwave. I generally do it right on stovetop in a small saucepan.

    ljt2r;
    I haven't tried chocolate chips but it would make sense to wait for the granola to be completely cooled to avoid melting the chips.

  7. #7
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    So I made Hammster's recipe last night like I said, and it is pretty good. I think it is a great basic recipe that could be tweaked however you wanted. I left my pecan halves whole because I was too lazy to chop them, and I think I would prefer smaller pieces of nuts. I also don't know if I would like chocolate chips in this particular granola. I think the "mouth feel" that I prefer with granola might involve a bit of a fat, so I am still looking for more recipes. I want it super duper crunchy. I also think it would be good to add something like rice krispies or something similar. Regardless, it was an excellent first-time-granola-maker recipe Thanks for posting!
    - Josie


  8. #8
    Hey Josie,
    Thanks for the feedback. As it's a "Cooking Thin" recipe by Kathleen Daelemans it won't have much fat in it. I think you could probably add a bit of butter or other fat if you don't mind the calorie hit.
    I am surprised you didn't find it crunchy enough. Mine always seems to be way crunchy. I wonder if it has to do with the dark baking sheets I use? Hmm.
    I'm constantly adding or substituting ingredients with this one as it is very basic and open to many variations. I think that's what I like about it. It's sort of a blank canvas that you can color how you like.
    Thanks for trying it and good luck in your ideal granola search.

  9. #9
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    Here is the recipe DH and I always use. It comes out chewy which we like because we eat it more like a snack than in a bowl with milk. However, DH does like it mixed into yogurt too.




    Lip Smackin' Trail Mix Recipe courtesy Paula Deen


    2 cups granola (recommended: Hudson Valley Dessert Company)
    3/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
    3/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
    1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut (1 1/2 cups)
    1/2 cup sunflower seeds (meat only)
    1/2 cup wheat germ
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    1/4 cups vegetable oil
    1 cup banana chips (optional)
    1/2 cup dark raisins
    1/2 cup golden raisins
    1/2 cup dried cherries
    1/2 cup dried apricots, diced

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
    In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except banana chips and raisins, cherries and apricots. Mix well. Spread evenly in an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven; stir in banana chips, raisins, cherries and apricots. Cool thoroughly. Store tightly covered at room temperature.



    Recipe Summary
    Difficulty: Easy
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Yield: 2 1/2 quarts
    User Rating:











    Episode#: PA1B01
    Copyright 2006 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved
    Go for it!

  10. #10
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    Hammster - what is the portion size for the nutrtion information that you provided, 294 calories?
    Do you think I could sub brown sugar splenda to reduce the overall calories?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by tigermorris View Post
    Hammster - what is the portion size for the nutrtion information that you provided, 294 calories?
    Do you think I could sub brown sugar splenda to reduce the overall calories?

    That is a great question re: portion size. She doesn't seem to list a serving size. That's odd. I looked at some cereals I have at home and some use 1 cup as a serving size and some use 1/2 cup.
    I wonder if one of our Mastercook gurus would plug in the recipe and see what the serving size is?

    No idea regarding Splenda.

    ETA: Nevermind. I checked an old printout of the recipe that I have in a binder and it says 1/2 cup is serving size. Not sure why the website changed that. I updated the recipe to show the 1/2 cup serving size in case anyone would want to save it.
    Last edited by Hammster; 01-17-2008 at 09:55 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammster View Post
    I wonder if one of our Mastercook gurus would plug in the recipe and see what the serving size is?
    Well, not a guru by any stretch of the word here's what MC gave for the total recipe:

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 4797 Calories; 187g Fat (34.2% calories from fat); 120g Protein; 690g Carbohydrate; 85g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 2248mg Sodium. Exchanges: 31 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 36 Fat; 14 Other Carbohydrates.

    I used pecans as the nut but haven't plugged in the others to see if it makes much of a difference but dividing it by 294/serving it comes out to 16 servings. But I don't think there's anything in MC to determine exact serving size you'd have to do that physically.

    BTA: results with walnuts:

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 4874 Calories; 182g Fat (32.7% calories from fat); 165g Protein; 681g Carbohydrate; 81g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 2248mg Sodium. Exchanges: 30 1/2 Grain(Starch); 7 1/2 Lean Meat; 32 Fat; 14 Other Carbohydrates.

    With almonds:

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 5029 Calories; 189g Fat (32.9% calories from fat); 160g Protein; 709g Carbohydrate; 100g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 2277mg Sodium. Exchanges: 32 Grain(Starch); 6 1/2 Lean Meat; 33 1/2 Fat; 14 Other Carbohydrates.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sneezles View Post
    Well, not a guru by any stretch of the word here's what MC gave for the total recipe:.
    Sneezles, sorry to put you through this as I had the serving size all along and forgot I had it. See edits above. Thanks just the same.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammster View Post
    Hey Josie,
    Thanks for the feedback. As it's a "Cooking Thin" recipe by Kathleen Daelemans it won't have much fat in it. I think you could probably add a bit of butter or other fat if you don't mind the calorie hit.
    I am surprised you didn't find it crunchy enough. Mine always seems to be way crunchy. I wonder if it has to do with the dark baking sheets I use? Hmm.
    I'm constantly adding or substituting ingredients with this one as it is very basic and open to many variations. I think that's what I like about it. It's sort of a blank canvas that you can color how you like.
    I loved her show on FoodTV way back when. My roommate at the time used her cookbook as one of her main resources on her journey to losing over 100 pounds!!!
    Another change I was forced to make due to ingredients on hand might have made it slightly less crunchy - I used half old fashioned rolled oats and half quick cooking oats. Maybe those shredded quick cooking oats don't cook up as crunchy. However, I totally agree with you regarding it being a fantastic blank canvas. I think I am going to try to make it again but add a couple tablespoons of oil to the syrup mixture. Added fat can't hurt, right?
    - Josie


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammster View Post
    Sneezles, sorry to put you through this as I had the serving size all along and forgot I had it. See edits above. Thanks just the same.
    It's no biggie as I don't really have to type much except for making ingredients recognizable. So using your edited version I came up with 16 servings (guesstimate based on ingredient amounts) and got this, again using pecans:

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 300 Calories; 12g Fat (34.2% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 141mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

    So it's pretty close to the original recipe's data.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  16. #16
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    I would love to try making homemade granola, but I prefer clumps of granola as opposed to 'loose' since it would be eaten by hand as opposed to in a bowl with milk.

    Any tips on making it clump? I want to try Hammster's recipe, but wondering if I need to add anything to make it more clumpy?
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    I would love to try making homemade granola, but I prefer clumps of granola as opposed to 'loose' since it would be eaten by hand as opposed to in a bowl with milk.

    Any tips on making it clump? I want to try Hammster's recipe, but wondering if I need to add anything to make it more clumpy?

    Actually, as it comes out of the oven it's fairly sticky. It takes a bit of stirring to loosen it all up. So, if you don't want to stir it much it should remain somewhat "clumpy". As it cools and the sugar hardens the cooling sugar should hold the clumps together.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    Any tips on making it clump? I want to try Hammster's recipe, but wondering if I need to add anything to make it more clumpy?
    I think in the version of the recipe that is printed in her cookbook, Kathleen Daelemans does give instructions for making the granola clumpier - maybe added sugar syrup? I can't remember for sure but I can look it up this evening at home....

    Also, to offer a granola that is much clumpier by nature, I have made the granola from Nigella Lawson's Feast book and its also very good. The Chocolate and Peanut Granola posted on Food Network's website is a variation of the one in the book. You can get the gist of the formula if you remove the cocoa powder and sub almonds for the peanuts.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgraham View Post
    I think in the version of the recipe that is printed in her cookbook, Kathleen Daelemans does give instructions for making the granola clumpier - maybe added sugar syrup? I can't remember for sure but I can look it up this evening at home....
    Yes please.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  20. #20
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    Does anyone have the link to Val's granola experiment thread?

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    Well...it looks like Hammster has the right idea.

    The recipe in the book only calls for 1 cup of brown sugar, all other ingredient quantities are the same. In a sidebar, it says, "Here's the skinny on this recipe: you can make it with 1 cup brown sugar and it won't be as clumpy or you can make it with up to 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and it will be clumpier. Manipulate the raw granola just before you put it in the oven by squeezing it together in your hands as you drop it onto the cookie sheets. The granola will clump together; however, once it is cooked, handle carefully or your delicious nuggets will turn to dust."

    Here is the link to Valchemist's Granola Recipe Taste Test

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgraham View Post
    Well...it looks like Hammster has the right idea.

    The recipe in the book only calls for 1 cup of brown sugar, all other ingredient quantities are the same. In a sidebar, it says, "Here's the skinny on this recipe: you can make it with 1 cup brown sugar and it won't be as clumpy or you can make it with up to 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and it will be clumpier. Manipulate the raw granola just before you put it in the oven by squeezing it together in your hands as you drop it onto the cookie sheets. The granola will clump together; however, once it is cooked, handle carefully or your delicious nuggets will turn to dust."

    Here is the link to Valchemist's Granola Recipe Taste Test
    Thanks for looking.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  23. #23
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    OK, so wondering what I did wrong...

    I made Hammster's Cooking Thin granola this morning. The only thing that I added was 4 tsp cinnamon to the oat/slivered almond mixture. My oven runs about 5* hot, so I set it for 270*. I moved both racks to the center of the oven, so the top baking sheet was about 6" from the top of the oven and the bottom baking sheet was about 6" from the bottom, give or take. I have a smaller wall oven and had to put the baking sheets in sideways.

    When I spread it out it wasn't very sticky. It spread out fairly easily, kind of dry. I set my timer for 23 minutes, I decided I was going to switch top to bottom and bottom to top halfway through cooking time to make sure that they cooked evenly. I have no idea if that would actually help, just thought it couldn't hurt!

    46 minutes total baking time. It is NOT pliable, it's crunchy and loose, no clumps. There is no stickiness to it at all. Mixing dried Craisins into it is basically just stirring it in, they're not sticking to anything, just falling to the bottom.

    Not enough syrup? I read above where the 1-1/2 cups of brown sugar is actually EXTRA syrup to help with clumpiness. If I do 2 cups of brown sugar next time, would I increase the water to 3/4??

    I really want a recipe without butter or added fat, but I thought I was going to get a bit 'o sticky on this one so I could mix something in and have it actually stick. It tastes good, just a bit dry. Could my oven have still been too hot?
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    OK, so wondering what I did wrong...

    I made Hammster's Cooking Thin granola this morning. The only thing that I added was 4 tsp cinnamon to the oat/slivered almond mixture. My oven runs about 5* hot, so I set it for 270*. I moved both racks to the center of the oven, so the top baking sheet was about 6" from the top of the oven and the bottom baking sheet was about 6" from the bottom, give or take. I have a smaller wall oven and had to put the baking sheets in sideways.

    When I spread it out it wasn't very sticky. It spread out fairly easily, kind of dry. I set my timer for 23 minutes, I decided I was going to switch top to bottom and bottom to top halfway through cooking time to make sure that they cooked evenly. I have no idea if that would actually help, just thought it couldn't hurt!

    46 minutes total baking time. It is NOT pliable, it's crunchy and loose, no clumps. There is no stickiness to it at all. Mixing dried Craisins into it is basically just stirring it in, they're not sticking to anything, just falling to the bottom.

    Not enough syrup? I read above where the 1-1/2 cups of brown sugar is actually EXTRA syrup to help with clumpiness. If I do 2 cups of brown sugar next time, would I increase the water to 3/4??

    I really want a recipe without butter or added fat, but I thought I was going to get a bit 'o sticky on this one so I could mix something in and have it actually stick. It tastes good, just a bit dry. Could my oven have still been too hot?
    I've done multiple pans, swapping positions before and it's worked fine. However, you have to use all the sugar that is in the recipe I posted. In fact you can even add a little more if you like.

    I'm amazed you got 43 minutes in the oven. I judge doneness by the nuts and the nuts are usually quite fragrant and well browned after about 25 minutes. So, I pull mine when the nuts tell me they are done. It's generally somewhat pliable at that point.

    I think if you want a more clumpy granola, make it into clumps when putting it on the cookie sheets and don't stir it while it's baking. And, use all the sugar called for in the recipe.

    HTH.

  25. #25
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    I made Hammster's Cooking Thin granola yesterday. I used Splenda Brown Sugar blend instead of brown sugar. I have never made granola before, so I made half of the recipe, except I used 1 cup slivered almonds and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Based on the feedback here, I clumped some of the granola before baking. It is absolutely delicious and very crunchy!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammster View Post
    And, use all the sugar called for in the recipe.
    I did use 1-1/2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup water...I used all the sugar, just wondering if I should have made more sugar syrup? I followed the recipe exactly, just added cinnamon is the only change. And since the recipe called for 45-60 minutes I decided to go on the low end of that to make it more pliable, it just didn't work. I didn't realize that it could be done sooner than 45 minutes. My bad! I'm going to Costco today, I'm going to pick up some dried blueberries and try this again next week. I've got yummy granola here, just not exactly what I was hoping for, so maybe some tweaking is needed!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    I did use 1-1/2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup water...I used all the sugar, just wondering if I should have made more sugar syrup? I followed the recipe exactly, just added cinnamon is the only change. And since the recipe called for 45-60 minutes I decided to go on the low end of that to make it more pliable, it just didn't work. I didn't realize that it could be done sooner than 45 minutes. My bad! I'm going to Costco today, I'm going to pick up some dried blueberries and try this again next week. I've got yummy granola here, just not exactly what I was hoping for, so maybe some tweaking is needed!
    I apologize. I interpreted this sentence:
    I read above where the 1-1/2 cups of brown sugar is actually EXTRA syrup to help with clumpiness.
    as if you used less.

    Anyway, I don't add any additional sugar or water. I just don't cook it as long since I'm pretty sure the nuts would be burned by then.
    I've used cinnamon, five spice, other seasonings. No problems with adding some spices.
    Sugar's a funny thing. If the weather is dry, you might have to add more sugar (although I'm not sure if you'd want to add more water) to get the granola to clump better.

  28. #28
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    Bump... I have this in the oven right now Hope it's good. I think we will add some raisins, craisins and chopped dried apricots after it's done.
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  29. #29
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    I have used the Kathleen Daelemans recipe to make my own granola for years and while I have always enjoyed it, I have never been able to make it clump very well. Personally, I don't really mind it "loose" so it hasn't really been a problem for me. I did decide, however, to try a new recipe recently and I loved it. According to MC, calories and fat are almost comparable to the Cooking Thin recipe for a 1/2 cup serving. For me, this granola came out much crunchier and clumped nicely. It is from The Roasted Vegetable cookbook.


    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Honey-Pecan Granola

    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Breakfast Oatmeal/Cereal

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
    1 cup barley or wheat flakes
    1 cup pecan pieces
    1 cup wheat germ -- raw or toasted
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    pinch nutmeg
    1/3 cup canola oil
    1/2 cup honey

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a shallow roasting pan with parchment paper.

    In a large bowl, combine the oats, barley, pecans, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well.

    In a large glass measuring cup, combine the oil and honey. Cover and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Or combine in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until the mixture is quite liquid and warm to the touch. Stir vigorously to combine. Stir into the oat mixture and mix well. Spread out in the pan.

    Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, until the granola is golden, stirring occasionally for even cooking. Do not let the granola get too dark, and stir frequently during the final 15 minutes to prevent scorching the granola at the sides of the pan. Turn off the heat and leave the granola in the cooling oven for an hour. This helps the granola develop a crisp texture, despite the presence of honey.

    Transfer to a large bowl to cool completely.

    Store in an airtight container. Granola will keep for about one month at room temperature or for about six months in the refrigerator.

    Source:
    "The Roasted Vegetable by Andrea Chesman"
    Yield:
    "6 cups"



    NOTES : Crunchy Granola: Granola comes out of the oven disappointingly limp. Don't worry about it - and do not keep roasting, thinking the granola will become crisp; it will simply scorch. The granola will become nicely crunchy as it cools. If you are making granola on an especially humid day, or if the granola seems really, really soft, you can let it cool slowly in the oven with the oven door ajar and the heat off. This will allow the latent moisture to evaporate.
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  30. #30
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    My favorite is still a recipe I've posted here
    Yield: 20 - 1/2-cup servings
    I don't have the nutritional information and it's no longer on Mayo Clinic's website.
    Running the risk of sounding like Goldilocks regarding crispy/crunchy/chewy it's just right IMHO.
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