I love granola.
My home kitchen version of granola is something like my college roommate's recipe for Vegetable Surprise: a little of this, a little of that, clean out the pantry, and, voila - a healthy, whole-grain start to your morning that takes little time and forethought (a Saturday morning at home reading the paper or cleaning house) and no need to read labels for hidden ingredients.
Combinations are limited only by your imagination. How about almond extract instead of vanilla? Add spices. A completely organic version, or one using all local ingredients? Let us know what you like in your granola!
Basic Granola Formula
Start with about 8 cups dry to 1 cup wet for a mildly sweet, crunchy granola, but feel free to adjust the proportions to your taste from there.
Dry (choose a few or all):
Rolled oats (5 to 6 parts)
Scottish or steel-cut oats
Almonds, walnuts, pecans
Shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Canola, vegetable, or olive oil (1 part) ? (Don't be scared to use olive oil; even extra virgin imparts little flavor on the final product.)
Honey or maple syrup (3 parts)
Also add (per one cup wet): 2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon table salt
Preheat oven to 250° F.
Combine dry ingredients and pour onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Combine wet and pour over dry, then gently mix. Bake for about 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
After baking, add 1-2 parts dried fruit such as raisins, blueberries, or cranberries.
[From Laura in Colorado...]