A year ago my husband and I visited Scotland and Ireland. We spent 3 days in Belfast and during that time we stayed at a hotel that served breakfast. Because we were cheap we chose the cold breakfast each morning. I expected cold cereal, instead it was basic granola with choices of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. I loved it. Since then I have been trying to recreate the granola with no luck. Last January my sister sent me this recipe from a recipe swap at church. It sounded so yummy, but I hadn't gotten around to making it until today and I'm not sure I made enough. I can't stop eating it, and it reminds me so much of the granola back in Belfast, it isn't sweet like most granolas and it is pretty healthy so I don't feel too guilty eating a lot. It is easily the best granola I've ever had. If you like sweet granola add honey to the butter/syrup mixture before you pour it over the rest of the ingredients. I am thinking of having it over ice cream as a lunch/afternoon snack.
NOTE: This uses oatmeal, which need to be certified GF for those with GF issues, even if they are GF some people still have problems with oatmeal.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
¾ cup sliced or slivered almonds
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp flax seed
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A Dark Amber)
1 cup dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, and/or raisins) (optional -- but recommended, I used cranberries & dates)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Either butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, nuts, seeds, flax seed, ground cinnamon, and salt.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the oil (or melted butter), and maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the liquid. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 30 - 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly. (The browner the granola gets (without burning) the crunchier the granola will be.) Place on a wire rack to cool. You will notice that the granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools. Make sure to break up any large clumps of granola while the mixture is still warm. Once the granola has completely cooled, add dried fruit and store in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks.