I never give credit to the originator of a recipe. Some may think I’m plagiarizing, but my version is usually so heavily doctored that the originator probably wouldn’t recognize it, or, if he/she did, they certainly wouldn’t want to have their name associated with it.
Start by rounding up at least the following—or anything else you might like to add. Personally, I’ve always avoided adding onions, peppers, chili power, or similar hot items trying to come up with a Southwestern granola version. This version is pure Mid-west.
In a big tub dump in 4 cups of oats.
Then add: 1/3 cup brown sugar—sort of sprinkle it, don’t dump it in a lump.
Now pour around 1/3 cup of maple syrup—the real stuff, you’ve already added sugar.
Likewise pour around 1/3 cup of coconut oil—if solidified simply nuke it for a few seconds.
Do the same with 1/3 cup of honey.
Finally, 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Mix thoroughly trying to coat the oats as much as possible; because then you’ll want to add roughly:
1/2 cup of flaked or shredded coconut.
1/3 cup each of ground flax seeds (healthy).
1/3 cup of chia seeds (also healthy—for what, I don’t know).
Now stir the mixture some more, trying to get the seeds to stick to the oats. Otherwise, they will wind up at the bottom. (See what I mean if you dumped the brown sugar in as a lump—you’re still trying to break up lumps).
Now for the really good stuff—add in:
A cup of walnut pieces.
A cup of raw almonds.
A cup of pecans.
A cup of cashews.
I like to use wholes and halfs so the mix doesn’t look too ground up.
Then I add:
A cup of dried apricots (I chunk these).
A cup of dried cherries (I usually cut them I half if really large).
The apricots and cherries give it a distinctive flavor, but you could also use raisins (ok) or craisins (better).
Then pre-heat the oven to 200. Spread the mix onto a large cookie sheet with sides. One without sides? You’ll be sorry.
Bake for roughly 60 minutes. If there still appears to be a lot of moisture, give it a few more minutes. I usually stir once about mid-way and then just after I take it out—before it has a chance to set. After cooling, pack it in a zip-lock bag, breaking up any remaining large hunks. I store mine in the fridge, just in case it’s not totally dry.
An option is to skip the oatmeal and the seeds and then you have a batch of deliciously flavored snack food for the game. Serve with any local micro-brewery craft beer--no watery big-brand stuff!