There’s something good about homemade granola:  there’s nothing in it that you didn’t put in it.

Admittedly, there is the pain in the ass factor of having to bake it.  It takes about an hour, and you have to stir it every 15 minutes to make sure the browning is even.  But other than that, it’s pretty effortless.

De’s Granola

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

1/2 c honey
1/4 c vegetable oil (not olive oil)
1/4 c peanut butter
1 t powdered ginger
1 t cinnamon

3 c. old-fashioned oats
3/4 c coconut flakes (unsweetened)
1/2 c nuts or seeds (chopped if almond-size or larger) (I’m using pepitas)
Salt (optional)

1 c dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, banana chips, etc.)

In a small saucepan, heat the honey, oil, peanut butter, and spices and stir until the peanut butter has been completely combined.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, add the oats, coconuts, and nuts (if untoasted).  If the nuts are already toasted, do not add them until after baking (no sense toasting something that’s already toasted, eh?).  Add about 1 t salt if the nuts are unsalted (optional).  Add the peanut butter sauce and mix thoroughly, until all the oats are coated and sticky.

Spread the granola onto a cookie sheet and toast for 1 hour, or until the coconut looks golden brown.  Stir every 15 minutes to keep the browning even.  When the granola is the color you like, remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.  Sprinkle the fruit (and nuts, if already toasted) over the granola, stir it again, then put it in an airtight container.

Modification notes:  if you remove oil, I seriously suggest removing honey in the same proportion.  The oil helps keep the honey from turning into dried honey candy chunks, which could be hard to eat.  You can swap out other sweeteners for the honey, like brown sugar or molasses.  If adding chocolate, let the granola cool to room temperature (NO cheating) before you add it.  Freeze-dried fruit is really good in this; plus, it doesn’t have any added sugar.  Crystallized ginger is a nice addition.  Don’t put anything in the oven that you don’t intend to get browner and more dried out:  thus, previously-dried fruit is already perfect for granola and doesn’t need additional baking.