The weather is cooler and I actually feel like baking. Granola is such an easy thing to make and the smells of cinnamon and brown sugar baking in the oven will make your kitchen smell amazing - you just have to be a little diligent about watching it and stirring it up every so often. I managed to burn one tray - oops! I had set the timer for 10 minutes, and this was probably the third time increment, had gone into my room to tidy up a bit and smelled the burnt sugar before the timer went off. I ran to the oven and checked, and the whole bottom of the bottom tray had burned black - so you just have to be on it because it can turn very quickly.
This granola is inspired by Early Bird Foods Jubilee granola with pistachios and dried cherries. Their granolas are pretty good and have a good bit of salt, which I love. I didn't have any pepitas or pumpkin seeds, which are great if you want to use them, but instead added golden raisins and pecans, since I love cherries and pecans together, as well as some flax seed to up the Omega-3s. I am obsessed with these large organic unsweetened coconut flakes from Let's Do Organic I found at Whole Foods - they are so good and I can't wait to put them into other dishes!
I like a lot of fruit as I make granola more for snacking than eating as a cereal, so if you like less fruit, you might start with a little less and add more as you go until you have the ratios you like. I've also made granola with sunflower seeds, which I didn't have this time, but they are a nice addition too.With spices, I used cinnamon and a bit of cardamom, which I had just used in making pumpkin bread recently. I like a good hint of salt in granola so this calls for 2-1/2 tsp. kosher salt.
So this recipe makes a lot - 13 cups or more - feel free to cut in half! I bought a small 18 oz. container of oats and decided I'd rather just use the whole thing rather than forget I have half a container of oats somewhere in the back of my pantry. If you want to make all of it, bring it to friends or family, or bring it in to work to share.