Granola is one of those food items that you take for granted - it's everywhere, so why would a person make it from scratch? The answer: because it's so f-ing good. That being said, it was a painstaking process, and it will probably be awhile before I do it again. The final product was best paired with some plain yogurt, with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and some fresh berries if you have them. The original recipe can be found here. Below are my modifications to the recipe, because I couldn't find some of the ingredients listed in the original:
Granola Recipe Adapted from the Traveler's Lunchbox
Yield: about 8 cups
1 lb. quick oats
3 cups coarsely chopped unsalted almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor, coffee grinder or blender, grind half the oats to a fine powder. In a large bowl, combine the whole oats, ground oats, and nuts. In a microwave-safe bowl (or in a saucepan over medium heat), combine the brown sugar, butter and water and heat just until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly. Stir the mixture together until smooth, then stir in the salt and vanilla. Pour this mixture over the oats and nuts, stirring well to coat. Let stand for about ten minutes.
Spread the mixture out on a large baking sheet, separating it into irregular clumps with your fingers, and allowing space between the clumps for the hot air to circulate. Slide into the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and stir, gently breaking up the mixture into small-to-medium sized clumps. Return to the oven and bake another 15 minutes or so before stirring again. Repeat the bake-and-stir until the mixture is a uniform golden brown and completely dry; this usually takes 1-1 1/2 hours. (I did this about five times.)
The final product is crunchy goodness. It also makes your apartment/house smell awesome. Just beware that stirring the oats around every 15 minutes sucks up a lot of time - I figured I could finish many things in 15 minute intervals, but I was wrong. It was still worth it - I got a lot of good and healthy breakfast meals out of it!