Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Molasses Fruit & Nut Granola + Basic Granola Template

I love messing with recipes.  I love tweaking this or substituting that to come up with something new.  Actually, my favorite recipes aren't as much recipes as general guidelines -- templates, if you will, for endless, delicious variations.

The other night, I needed a break from writing a paper, and I decided to make granola.  It being nighttime and me being in my pajamas, I wasn't very inclined to go shopping, so I was limited to what I had in my pantry (which is, admittedly, pretty well stocked given my tendency to procrastinate through late-night baking).  I took my basic granola template and invented this Molasses Fruit & Nut Granola recipe, which turned out very tasty.  I've thrown in my granola template at the end of this post, so you, too, can come up with your own endless granola variations.

Whatever is in the pantry goes in the granola...

By the way, homemade granola is awesome.  It is easy.  The fresh taste is unparalleled by store-bought granola.  You control the sugar content.  And -- best of all -- it is much cheaper than the store-bought stuff.  And granola in cute little jam jars with a bow on top?  Great gifts!

Molasses Fruit & Nut Granola
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup walnut halves and pieces
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted and slightly cooled
1/3 cup agave nectar
2 Tablespoons molasses
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
  1. Preheat oven to 250ºF.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, tossing well with a spatula.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Earth Balance, agave, and molasses.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until the wet mixture completely coats the oat mixture.
  5. Spread granola mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even toasting.
  7. Transfer warm, cooked granola into a large bowl, and stir in the raisins and currants.
  8. Let cool, then store in airtight containers.  May be frozen for longer storage.
Basic Granola Template
3 cups rolled oats
2 cups nuts
Optional: 2 Tablespoons brown or regular sugar
Optional: 3/4 teaspoon salt
Optional: spices
1/4 cup Earth Balance (melted and slightly cooled) or any oil
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons sticky liquid (maple syrup, agave, etc. or a mixture)
1 cup dried fruit

Then just follow the directions above.

Yummy is so easy.


  1. Yum! That looks delicious and makes me want to make granola today. I still have a lot of hazelnuts from Thanksgiving- do you think that would be good in granola?

    I'm expecting at least one delicious Laura-made vegan treat when David and I are in Eugene. :)

  2. I bought way too many hazelnuts, didn't I? But yes-- hazelnuts would be a great addition! Let me know if you come up with a good combination.

    And don't worry: I'll come up with something special for you two.

  3. Hey Laura, I'm Monica's friend, Viv. I'm totally going to try this out!!! Random question, have you tried bran muffins before? I had an orange cranberry bran muffin earlier today and it was AWESOME. But I ran across recipies that weren't so healthy... kind of defeats the purpose of bran if you're going to put sugar-loaded store bought cereal in it. I don't know. :)

  4. Healthy bran muffins? A worthy challenge! I'll get back to you...