For my first post on this excellent site I thought that I would pass on a recipe I received from my mother'n'law. I thought it would make a fun Wednesday Wildcard recipe. Unlike most granola recipes out there, this one is made without any fat (besides natural fat existing in nuts). This recipe yields a lot of granola (about 2 gallons). It delicious and even a hit with the kids.
2 Tbls Vanilla
1/4 Cup Cinnamon
1 Cup Wheat Germ
2 Cups Maple Syrup
2 Cups Honey
2 Cups Walnuts (unsalted)
2 Cups Pecans (unsalted)
2 Cups Almonds (unsalted)
1-1 1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds
1 Bag Quaker Oats from Costco (Costco: Box of Quaker Oatmeal with two bags, use one)
2 Large Roasting Pans (I just buy aluminum pans and re-wash them)
Mix Together all of the above ingredients in a super large bowl or in two large bowls. Make sure that it is thoroughly mixed together. Put an even amount in the two roasting pans (spray with pam first to keep from sticking). Bake for 45-60 minutes. Stir the mixture every 10-15 minutes. Rotate the pans on the racks each time you stir (move the top pan to the bottom shelf). This allows the granola to cook evenly. If you don't want as crunchy of granola, just cook for 30-35 minutes.
Mix all the dried fruit you'd like in another mixing bowl and add to the warm nut mixture when you remove it from the oven. This allows the fruit to blend into the granola flavor. Use one cup or more of each dried fruit you want for a total of 4-5 cups of fruit. You can add more or less to your liking. Some fruits I use are: Raisins, cranberries, blueberries. You can also use (depending on the season) raspberries, dates, apricots (make sure you cut them up), cherries, etc.
I place the cooled granola into gallon ziplock bags. This keeps good for quite awhile. If you don't eat it fast enough, you can also store it in the freezer.