As long as it's not too sweet, granola is one of my favorite things for breakfast or a quick and healthy snack. So when I prepared a batch the other day I decided to sprinkle sea salt over the wet mix before baking. For me, the combination of the sweetness from the honey/maple syrup/molasses along with the saltiness (that somehow seems to stick to the nuts) is pure bliss. But then I am naturally inclined to gobble up practically anything with sweet and salty components, such as this salt-kissed buttermilk cake. If you are not such a fan, simply skip that step.
The other thing that is great about granola is that when you make your own you can put in whatever you like. Not so much into walnuts? Use almonds or cashews instead. What's more, if you want to go really crazy with the nuts, add a combination of several kinds. And in terms of dried fruit and seeds, nearly anything goes. I used boring old raisins because it's all I had on hand (and I like them), but chopped apricots, figs, dates, cherries, cranberries, and apples would all be good. So would sesame seeds. This one might be out there for some--and I've never personally tried it--but I've heard that hemp seeds are available at most U.S. health food stores and are reportedly very nutritious. Why not give it a try.
Sweet and Salty Granola
3c rolled oats
1/2c unsweetened, shredded coconut
1c coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2c sliced almonds
1/4c raw pumkin seeds
1/4c sunflower seeds
1/4c flax seeds
2T maple syrup
2T molasses (if you don't have molasses just use more honey or maple syrup)
2T vegetable oil
1.5t sea salt
Preheat oven to 325F/160C
1. Mix oats through flax seeds.
2. Combine honey through oil in a small sauce pan (or in a bowl in the microwave) and heat until just warm - 2-3 minutes on medium heat (60 seconds in the microwave).
3. Pour wet mix over dry ingredients and stir well until combined.
4. Sprinkle sea salt over the wet mixture and stir again until thoroughly combined.
5. Spread evenly over a parchment lined baking sheet.
6. Bake for 5 minutes, stir, and then do this two more times for a total of 15 minutes in the oven. The mixture will be light golden brown.
7. Remove from oven. Stir in raisins (or other dried fruit). Using another piece of parchment, press on top of the mix and leave to cool completely. Remove parchment and break into chunks. If you prefer a non-chunky granola, simply skip the parchment step.
8. Store in an airtight container.