I cook granola so often, I could probably make it in my sleep.
My version is an adaption of Bon Appetit’s “Better Granola”, which looks a lot like Early Bird’s granola recipe. And so is the way with recipes…
I’m not a food scientist, but I think that egg whites help crisp the mixture as it cooks. The whites may also help create clumps, but on this I’m less convinced. I think the secret to those lovely clumps is to NOT stir it. And keep the temperature low enough so that the edges don’t burn.
You can and should alter the recipe to suit yourself. Maybe you love coconut oil or agave, or sesame seeds, apricots, and pistachios appeal more than pecan and cherries. Yours and mine will look different, but the basic formula is the same.
2 large egg whites
2/3 to ¾ cup sweetener (agave, honey, brown sugar, molasses, sorghum, maple syrup..you name it. I usually do mostly honey, a little maple and dark brown sugar)
½ cup olive or canola oil (I use “pure” olive oil)
1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups rolled oats
3 cups mixed chopped nuts (I like pistachio, walnuts, almonds, and pecans)
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (optional, my son makes me pick them out, so we don't use them anymore)
¼ cup wheat germ or flax seed (optional)
¾ cup coconut flakes
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ cups cherries, golden raisins, chopped apricots, or mix of all three
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl. Whisk in the sweeteners, oil, salt, and vanilla.
3. In a large bowl, use two wooden spoons to combine the oats, nuts, pumpkin seeds and wheat germ or flax (if using,) coconut flakes, and cinnamon. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and toss until fully combined. Spread onto two large baking sheets and cook, without stirring, for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
4. Let cool completely, and add cherries or other dried fruit. Lift from the baking sheet, and store in a sealed container. Makes about 10 cups. Adapted from Bon Appetit.