Granola is an American invention that was popularized in the 1960s by the "hippie" health-food movement. It consists of oats and whole grains that are baked with honey or sugar and usually nuts and dried fruit. Granola is traditionally served as a breakfast cereal, topped with milk, but it makes a filling snack eaten dry as well. This recipe takes about 15 minutes to prep; however, you do need to stay nearby to stir it occasionally during baking. See the list of tasty add-ins below that let you personalize your batch. You should end up with about fifteen 1/2-cup servings.
1. Preheat the Oven to 300°F
In a 15x10x1-inch baking pan combine 4 cups regular rolled oats and 1 cup desired nuts (see the list of Nuts in Granola Variations, below).
Tip: Regular oats are sometimes call old-fashioned oats. Don't substitute instant oats in this recipe. Instant oats have been precooked and dried, which softens them, so you won't end up with the desired crunchy texture.
2. Combine and Heat the Brown Sugar Mixture
3. Bake Until Golden
For room-temperature storage: Place the granola in an airtight storage container or large resealable plastic bag. Store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
For freezer storage: Place the granola in a freezer container or resealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.