Not so much that candy they sell in the grocery stores under the name “granola”. But I remember back around 1970 encountering the first over-the-counter grocery store granola, Lassen brand. It was sold in plastic bags, was sweetened very lightly if at all, and the grains were separate and flowed like (dry) rice grains.
The modern mutation makes a cereal bowl look a litter box by comparison.
Turns out that granola is incredibly easy to make, a secret no doubt General Mills will hate to see get out. You can have granola your way.
The basic formula effects the chemical change that turns the oats from chewy horse fodder into crunchy granola. Cook rolled outs, lightly coated with an imaginary vegetable oil like canola, spread out on a cookie sheet, at 300 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring/tilling once.
Everything else is just flavoring. One batch I didn’t sweeten to see what would happen, and it made kind of a nice snack food, slightly salty from the chopped salted almonds. It’d make a good base for something spicy like a Chex party mix.
But of course there’s one classic granola: almond and cinnamon and sweetener (classically honey, but I use raw agave cactus juice, which has a slightly molasses-like flavor, which nicely complements the oats).
4 cups rolled oats 1 cup finely chopped almonds 2 tablespoons cinnamon 1/2 cup canola or high-omega oil 1/2 cup raw agave sweetener 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit, optional
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly, and then mix in the oil and agave. Mix the liquids as best you can, but don’t obsess over it–they’ll flow later when heated.
Spread the mix out in a large cookie sheet. If you’re obsessing over spreading the liquid evenly anyway, here’s another chance to knead the mix a while and spread it around.
When you’re done kneading or the oven’s ready, whichever comes first, put the cookie sheet in the over for ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove it, and spread the mix around, tilling it to mix the top layers with the bottom. Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
While it’s cooking, sweep the floor. You’ll always knock some granola off the cookie sheet while mixing it.
My first few batches I put it back for a third ten minutes, but I finally realized that it keeps cooking for a while after you remove it from the oven, and the granola really is done after twenty minutes. Just be patient and let it cool to complete the chemical reaction.
There ya go, genuine 1970 hippie granola!