Thursday, March 11, 2010

What I Learned from Making Granola

When the freezer is filled with too many nuts and the snack drawer is bulging with bags of half eaten raisins, dried cranberries and blueberries, goji berries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried figs and apricots, containers of dates, apple chips and shredded coconut, it's time to make a big batch of Little D's Granola..

Without a recipe, making granola is a mind game. The game is your mind asking all sorts of questions you must address to produce a great batch of granola. It gets tricky if you want to add-in raisins, goji berries, dried fruit, pine nuts, sugar, agave syrup. Each added ingredient requires a quick decision.
"Do I add the raisins and goji berries before or after baking?" "
"Should I wait or add the dried fruit now before baking? "
"Toast the pine nuts before I add them?"
"Will the pine nuts add an oily flavor?"
"Do I really need to add sugar? "
"Can the granola brown in the oven without sugar or butter? "
"If I use honey, should I heat it first?"
An endless stream of questions. This time a small voice inside my head was overly concerned about the add-ins. The little voice of reason was gently asking me not to throw everything in at once. Reminding me, "Remember the burnt raisins and the sugar didn't dissolve from the last batch."
This time, because I took my time and worked with my inner chef. This batch of granola was the best yet. It browned beautifully, the raisins, cranberries and blueberries were added when the granola came out of the oven. The pine nuts, wonderful and not greasy in the least. And I learned... when I cook, I am never alone..

Little D's Granola Deluxe

I like to use the empty oatmeal can as a measuring vessel for the nuts, coconut and the dried berries and fruit. Then toss everything into a big bowl, no need to use a small 1 cup measuring cup for these ingredients.Granola is a good gift to share with loved ones and friends. Wrap the granola in canning jars with a pretty ribbon. Your friends will appreciate it so much!

1 can quick cooking oats, Quaker Oaks brand
1 can mixed nuts,to include pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds,
1/4 cup honey or agave heated with 3 T cinnamon

1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
1/2 can shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
2T coarse salt

3/4 can filled with mixed dried fruit to include raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, diced apricots, minced dates,

Combine all the the ingredients together, in a large bowl except the dried fruits and dried berries, bake the granola mixture on sheet pans lined with parchment paper till golden brown about 30 -40minutes on 325F. When done remove granola from the oven.

Add 3/4 can of mixed dried fruit to include raisins, cranberries, blueberries, apricots. Mix well with a large spoon.
Granola keeps well in the refrigerator.

I like to fill canning jars with my granola to give away as party favors or for a take home gift after a Sunday brunch party.


  1. Amazing recipe! Whenever I go over to The Dale Hali, I eat the whole bag! This tropical anti-oxidant rich granola is addicting! Add a little almond milk and it becomes a little "crunch" of heaven or shall I say, "devilishly delightful!" Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm!

  2. This granola recipe sounds sooo amazingly yummy! Do you sell any packaged? I would love to buy some from you for gifts for family and friends~What a wonderful gift idea!

  3. Hi D! Hope all is well with you post our March workshop. I too roast my own granola, but I do mine with maple syrup. Isn't it great to have homemade granola in the house? I eat it every morning! YOur pictures are looking great!

  4. Aloha, Thank you!! I am planning to make boxed granola and other products in the future and will offer these in the late fall,,stay tuned and go to and visit my other home in Kauai. More later... Chef Hula