On or off the trail, I’m a fan of grab-and-go snacks.  Packed with nutrient-dense nuts and whole grains, granola is an excellent source of fuel. Whether granola’s munched out of hand or drizzled with milk for a power packed breakfast, you’ll find yourself reaching for this Killer Granola over and over again.
killer granola
For the uninitiated, store bought granola bears no resemblance to homemade. The building blocks–nuts, whole grains, and often dried fruit–are all the same, but the execution–and the outcome–is nowhere close. This is one food that’s worth making yourself. Granola basics are simple to master, and easily customized. With this granola recipe as a base, it takes on a tropical flare with the addition of banana chips and dried pineapple. A touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried cranberries…and suddenly, I’m jonesing for a roaring fire and an alpine hut. Five spice, candied ginger, and dried mango capture the flavors of Southeast Asia.  By varying the nuts, seeds, and the addition of dried fruit, the possible combinations are endless.For the best bang for your buck, visit your grocer’s bulk bin section to load up on supplies.
killer granola
Killer Granola from The Cheese Board: Collective Works (Ten Speed Press, 2003)
  • Makes 3 cups granola
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or other nuts
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
killer granola
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the salt over low heat. Add the chopped nuts, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Add the honey and brown sugar, reduce the heat to low and stir until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. Add the sugar mixture and toss until the oats are evenly coated. Spread the granola evenly on the prepared pan. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to redistribute the granola. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely on the baking sheet. Store the granola in an airtight container.
killer granola

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