Versatile oats are the building blocks of tasty breakfasts

Granola packs good-for-you grains, nuts and fruit into a wholesome treat.

Granola packs good-for-you grains, nuts and fruit into a wholesome treat. Even better, it’s portable. Simply spoon 1⁄2-cup servings into plastic baggies to enjoy out of hand before or after a run. Granola also is a wonderfully crunchy topping for yogurt, a bowl of fresh fruit or oatmeal. You also can stir it into pancakes or muffins.

Don’t like hazelnuts? The best thing about granola is that it’s completely customizable — add whatever ingredients you like and forget about the ones you don’t.

John’s Granola

6 tablespoons hazelnuts or other nuts (I used pecans and almonds)

31⁄2 cups rolled oats

11⁄2 cups barley flakes

3⁄4 cup malted wheat flakes

1⁄4 cup wheat germ

6 tablespoons golden raisins

31⁄2 tablespoons raisins

5 dried apricots, chopped

1⁄2 cup dried banana chips

6 tablespoons dried cherries, chopped

6 tablespoons shredded coconut

31⁄2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1⁄2-1 cup honey or maple syrup

Fresh fruit, to serve

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts on a large sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden, shaking them occasionally. Meanwhile, combine the grains, dried fruit, coconut, and seeds in a large bowl.

Remove nuts from oven but do not turn it off. Let nuts cool, then chop coarsely, and add them to the dry ingredients, mixing well.

Spread mixture out on the sheet pan and drizzle the honey or maple syrup evenly over it. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to incorporate the honey and break up any large clusters. Remove pan from oven and keep stirring the granola every 5 to 10 minutes until it is cold. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 16 servings.

Adapted from “Super Grains” by Jenni Muir (Octopus, Nov. 2014, $29.99)

Nutritional information: 205 calories, 35 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fiber, 4 g protein and 5.5 g total fat.

Categories: Food

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