I’ve been following local chef Shannon Smith on social media for years. I’ve perused Smith’s trove of recipes on her website, chefshannon.com, making several of the world traveler’s recipes.
One simple staple I keep going back to — literally, since I make this at least once a month — is her Crunchy Granola. It’s a great basic recipe that can be adapted to suit your taste and what you have in your pantry. Don’t have walnuts? I’ve used pecans several times. Only have unsweetened coconut flakes? It’s still delicious and makes for great texture.
Crunchy Granola Makes about 7 cups
- 1/4 cup canola or corn oil
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one 11-by-17-inch baking sheet with cooking oil spray (or line with non-stick aluminum foil). Set aside.
In a 1-pint microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil, syrup and brown sugar. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1 minute, or until the sugar starts to melt. Remove from the microwave and stir to combine.
In a 2-quart bowl, combine the oats, nuts, wheat germ and coconut. Toss to miss. Pour the syrup mixture over the oat mixture and stir until well-mixed. Spread evenly onto the pan.
Place the pan on the top rack and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and stir the granola. Place back in the oven, rotating the pan to the bottom rack. Bake for 10 minutes more. Cool the granola in the pans for 1 hour or until it reaches room temperature. Stir to mix well and store in an airtight container.
Cook’s note: My oven bakes this a bit quicker than the recipe calls for — approximately 8 minutes, then stir and rotate the pan and bake for another 5-8 minutes.