Great Granola

Our granola breakfast looks like this upside down–
lots of fruit on the bottom with a little yogurt and
granola on the bottom.  But taking photos of my
creations and uploading them is too overwhelming

(Today’s my 46th birthday, here’s a birthday gift for you–my granola recipe!)

I make a truly great granola. 
I discovered granola while doing Weight Watchers 8 years ago.  When I ate a generous serving of fruit with a spoonful of nonfat plain yogurt and a sprinkling of granola, I wasn’t hungry until lunch.  So fruit, yogurt and granola has been Scott and my staple breakfast ever since. 
My sister has loved homemade granola far longer than me and tried a bunch of recipes.  But apparently, the one I invented is the best—she couldn’t believe I created it on first try.  It might be a tiny sensitive spot in our sibling rivalry issues.
I learned a key tip from Josh, who’s also renowned for his granola.  At a grad student summer fellowship meeting the opening question was “What was the best wisdom your parents ever passed on to you?” 
He answered, “Always put the honey in before the oil.”
As one who’d always done the opposite,  I ran up to him after the meeting and he told me that when the oats soak up the honey they just need a little slick of oil on top.  His father’s wisdom meant I cut the oil in my recipe by ¼.
As in so many things culinary within our family, a chef has no honor within her own home, so none of the kids will eat my granola.  They think granola is gross. 
The one exception was last summer in China.   I brought along a mid-size container of granola.  But when we landed and realized we weren’t going to spend $100 yuan per person on the lavish buffet breakfast at the hotel, we bought yogurt and fruit and everyone, even kids, ate it with granola.
I hadn’t planned on kids eating granola, so alas, it was gone in a week and we had to revert to raw oatmeal with yogurt and fruit, our own version of muesli.  That’s when there finally was a little appreciation!!
But returning home, they won’t eat it again.  When they complain there’s nothing to eat for breakfast and I suggest my fresh baked delicious granola, they just groan and roll their eyes. 
Someday when they are grown-ups and have to watch their weight, they will think back to how their mom baked fresh granola every three weeks and provided abundant fruit and yogurt and how they sneered at it and her.  When they come home they’ll beg me for a granola care package and it will take a lot of spiritual maturity and forgiveness to not hold their hard hearts, er palates, over them.  But I will give them granola because that’s what a mother, and a chef/cook, does.
Kathy’s Granola
Mix together until well coated:
1 42 oz. tub of rolled oats (not quick ones)
1 cup honey
1 cup wheat germ (optional—I don’t use it anymore)
Drizzle on top and mix in:
¾ cup oil (I use canola)
Add & mix in:
2 cups coconut flakes or more
Bake @ 350 in a large pans for about 20-30 minutes, mixing every 10 minutes, then every 5 until granola is light brown. 
8 oz. slivered almonds
1 cup. Pumpkin seeds or pistachios
1 cup sunflower seeds
(or any other combination of nuts you like.  I’ve also used cashews, pecans, sesame
Bake until granola is the color you like and nuts are lightly toasted.  I often turn off the oven and let it sit there.
When granola is cool, add:
1 pkg. chopped dates
Raisins, Craisins, dried fruit to your liking (I just put in some big handfuls)
Serve over whatever fresh fruit is in season with yogurt or milk.  Scott likes at least 3 each morning. 
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