Well, it would be, if anyone bothered to package and sell it. It could also carry the moniker, “World’s Best Granola.”
The recipe is in two of my cookbooks, and I’m quite certain that the five tons of granola samples I handed out hocking my books all over the country is the reason I sold so many books.
The original recipe came from Martha McGinnis, a former chef at the world-class Triple Creek Ranch in Montana. I knew it was great granola after the first bite, but there was something about it that bothered me.
You have to roast hazelnuts. Have you ever roasted hazelnuts? What a pain in the ass butt. Papery flecks of skin float all over the place. I’m sure, if you looked hard enough, you could find a piece of hazelnut skin somewhere in my kitchen and I’ve not roasted hazelnuts in 5 years.
So I tweaked Martha’s recipe, replacing the hazelnuts with walnuts. Much easier. I also tweaked the sugar composition. She originally called for honey OR maple syrup. I use both because I love the stickiness from the honey and the flavor of maple syrup. And I use Grade B maple syrup because, as Christopher Kimball so eloquently says, “no self-respecting Vermonter would ever use Grade A.” I’m not from Vermont but if I was, I wouldn’t use Grade A either. Grade A is for wimps.
I also only use dried blueberries and dried tart cherries, compounding the expensive part. Enough blabbering… here’s my recipe from both The Great Ranch Cookbook and The Cool Mountain Cookbook, with my newest tweaks. Just promise me that you won’t sit down and eat the whole batch at once — a promise that is actually harder than it sounds.
Triple Creek Granola (with a few tweaks)
Makes 18 cups
1 (18 ounce) container of old-fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
1 1/2 cups sliced raw almonds
1 1/2 cups raw pepitas*
1 1/2 cups raw walnut pieces
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups dried blueberries
1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries
1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
2. Toss the first 7 ingredients (oats through brown sugar) together in a large pot.
3. Heat the honey, maple syrup and oil in a small sauce pan over low heat just until warm. Pour over oats mixture and stir until all ingredients are coated.
4. Spread on two lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and stir and return to oven in 5 minute increments, stirring after each 5 minutes. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes in total. Remove from oven and scrape each baking sheet contents into a separate, large roasting pan.
6. Divide the dried fruit evenly between the two pans and stir. Continue to stir occasionally as the granola cools to break up lumps. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. You can freeze the granola for up to 3 months (like it’s going to last that long.)
*Pepitas are green pumpkin seeds (actually, they are the inner seed of a pumpkin seed, which is white, and you can find them in health food stores if your grocery store doesn’t carry them.)