This is the granola recipe that my dad has always used, I'm not sure where it came from before he gave it to me. I usually double this recipe so I don't have to make it as often. It stores very well.
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple flavoring (optional)
1/2 cup applesauce
Mix the rolled oats and wheat germ together in one bowl, and the oil, brown sugar, and maple flavoring together in another. Mix them both together, adding the applesauce. I usually do this right in the baking pan I use. Mix everything with a silicon spatula or your hands until everything is evenly moistened and mixed. Spread out on cookie sheets or cake pans, no more than 3/4 inch thick. Bake 30 minutes at 350 F. Stir all the pans with a spatula and turn oven down to 300 F. Continue baking at 300 F, stirring every 20 minutes. The granola is done when it is evenly browned and you cannot feel any dampness in the oats.
You can use almost any variation to this recipe, as long as the wet-to-dry ratios remain the same. Some of my favorites are:
- Add 1-2 tsp vanilla extract before baking.
- Grind 1/2 to 3/4 cup almonds in a coffee grinder and add before baking.
- Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds before baking.
- Add dried fruit after baking or just for the last 20 minutes.
- Add any combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, or ground cloves before baking.
Once the granola is completely baked, allow it to cool for 20 minutes or so, and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!