The first time I made granola, I seriously said to myself -- as the heavens parted, strangers embraced, and mortal enemies reconciled -- I will always have a fresh batch of granola in my home.
I also promised to shave my legs daily and start lifting weights.
But let's not get sidetracked.
I've started making granola again. In fact, I've made 3 batches in 3 weeks, a feat of granola-making prowess if ever one existed.
My recipe below, a lower-sugar granola that's still deliciously sweet, makes use of agave nectar and natural, unsweetened coconut. (See my other agave recipes here and here and my other coconut recipes here, here, here, and here.)
May your legs be silky and your muscles bulbous, and may you always have a tin of fresh granola at the ready.
Recipe for Agave-Sweetened Granola with Pistachios, Dried Apricots, and Golden Raisins
I find that pistachios tend to burn more quickly than other nuts, so I like to add them after the first stirring, at the 10 minute mark. (Stirring twice, and lining your baking sheets with parchment, will both prove essential to your granola-making success.) Because it relies on agave nectar and natural coconut, this recipe has far less refined sugar than many others.
Makes 10 to 12 cups
4 cups rolled oats
3 cups unsweetened, natural coconut
2 teaspoons cardamom
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups shelled, unsalted pistachios
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
In your largest bowl, stir together the oats, coconut, and cardamom.
In a medium bowl (or 4-cup glass measure), whisk together the oil, agave nectar, and two extracts. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until everything is evenly moistened.
Divide granola between the two prepared baking sheets, spreading in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Stir in the pistachios, and bake for 20 minutes longer, stirring once more and reversing the order of the baking pans halfway through. (This means you'll stir twice in a 30 minute period.)
Remove granola from the oven and stir in the dried fruit. Once fully cooled, store in a ziploc bag, preferably inside a metal tin.