Chunky Homemade Granola
Yield: 16 cups (4 quarts)
This big batch recipe makes two full baking sheets of classic, crunchy, lightly sweet granola that is delicious with yogurt, milk, fruit – or by the handful. You may cut the recipe in half, but it will keep for weeks and freezes well, too.


Ingredients

  • 6 cups (540g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1½ cups (170g) slivered raw almonds
  • 1½ cups (210g) raw sunflower seeds (may use pumpkin seeds or a mix)
  • 1 cup (228g) whole wheat or all-purpose flour (see notes for GF options)
  • ¾ cup (150g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (180g) melted coconut oil (may substitute; see notes)
  • ½ cup (4oz) water
  • ½ cup (160g) pure maple syrup (may substitute honey)
  • Optional: ⅔ cup (56g) shredded or flaked coconut (I use unsweetened)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300℉. Grease two rimmed baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
  2. In a very large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, flour, brown sugar, salt, and optional coconut. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, maple syrup, and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir until the dry ingredients are completely moistened.
  3. Spread the oat mixture over the prepared baking sheets. Press the mixture into a big, even rectangle on each baking sheet to start. (This will help the pieces bind.)
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, and then flip in large sections with a spatula. Switch the trays around in oven and bake 20-30 minutes more, flipping every 10 minutes, or until dried out and lightly golden. (Helpful hints: If you’re not interested in chunks, stir and break up the mixture as you go. If you want bigger chunks, flip in large sections. You can break them into smaller pieces later, if desired. For really big chunks, you may skip the flipping/stirring altogether, but do rotate the baking sheets. Note that the granola will likely take longer to dry out in this case and you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees if the edges begin to brown too much.)
  5. Once the granola is dry, remove from the oven and do not stir again until completely cooled.
  6. Storage: Stored in an airtight container, the granola will stay fresh for several weeks at room temperature and several months in the refrigerator. It freezes well, too.

Notes

I have substituted my all-purpose, gluten-free flour blend and several store-bought blends with excellent results. Most recently, I used flax meal. The flavor difference with the flax meal was negligible, and while the granola was less chunky, I wouldn’t hesitate to make it this way again.
While my favorite oil in this granola is coconut oil (for both its aroma and light flavor), I have used canola and olive oil and both are fine substitutes.
•The granola offers a great snack mix base. Favorite combinations for add-ins include the following: 
white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and cashews; dark chocolate chips, dried cherries, and walnuts or pecans; mini M&Ms, raisins, banana chips, and peanuts; butterscotch or cinnamon chips, chopped dried apricots, and macadamia nuts.


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