Slideshow: How to Make Granola

Rolled oats + other grains
Rolled oats + other grains
3 to 4 cups total. Rolled oats (not steel cut or quick oats) is the foundation of granola. To that, you can add smaller amounts of other grains such as rolled barley, wheat bran, millet, and flax seeds. For one batch of granola, I typically use a total of 3 to 4 cups of grains.
Nuts + seeds
Nuts + seeds
2 cups. Add raw nuts and seeds, roughly chopping larger nuts to get a more even distribution in the granola. Use any combination you like: almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, shredded coconut...
The dressing
The dressing
Roughly 3/4 cup. This is the stuff that makes those nice little clusters and gives the granola its sweetness and crunch. It's usually some combination of fat (olive oil, grapeseed oil, nut butters, melted butter) and syrupy sugar (maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, rice syrup, simple syrup). I’ve made a decent no-added-fat granola by dressing it with just maple syrup, but it’s not quite the same. I usually whisk together a little more sugar than fat—you can adjust the exact ratio according to your preference and the sweetness of the sugar you are adding.

Embellishment inspiration: Citrus zest, chopped herbs, ground spices, or extracts.

Bake at 300°F for 30 to 40 minutes
Bake at 300°F for 30 to 40 minutes
Stir the granola and redistribute it evenly on the pan every 10 minutes. When it’s done, the oats, nuts and seeds should be a nice amber color. Put the pan on a wire rack and let the granola cool. It may not be crispy right away, but will be by the time it cools down.
Mix in dried fruit
Mix in dried fruit
2 cups. Once the granola is cooled, toss in dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, banana chips, goji berries, and blueberries. Cut larger fruits like dried apple, apricot, mango, or pineapple into smaller, raisin-sized bites. You can store the granola in the refrigerator to prevent the oils from getting a little off. The downside is that cold dried fruit can be a little tough. If you go through granola pretty quickly, keep a small, sealed container of granola in a cool spot.