Great Granola

It was 8:30 PM. Kids tucked in, dishes done, and a hankering to bake. So I gave my husband the choice: Brownies or granola. You might think he would choose brownies to go with that glass of red wine, but my granola won out. For the past few months I've been playing with the classic recipe, tweaking here and there, to come up with the right combination of ingredients. I've finally hit on a recipe that everyone in the family loves, and which bakes up deliciously, crisping as it cools, to become the perfect breakfast cereal. I shop the bulk bins at Central Market for shredded unsweetened coconut and raw sunflower seeds, which cost hardly anything and add plenty to the recipe. I buy pecans and walnuts in bulk from Costco and keep them in the freezer, so I always have them on hand. We love this granola with organic milk and a handful of fresh raspberries, but of you're going full vegan, a favorite non-dairy milk will also do. Great Granola

3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl; toss to mix well. Heat syrup, oil, and vanilla in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Pour hot syrup mixture over oat and nut mixture in bowl; use rubber spatula to mix well, folding until mixture is evenly moistened.

Transfer to 13- by 9-inch baking dish and bake, stirring occasionally, until mixture is lightly browned and fragrant and nuts are toasted, about 40 minutes. Cool, stirring granola occasionally as it cools to prevent sticking. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to one week.