I noticed after my last post that it was all about the cowboys. I did see some women wranglers, just a few but they sure walked the walk and looked the look. I am guessing that riding horses all day keeps you in fine shape and I am also guessing that they stay away from over-indulging in the delicious ranch granola. It is certainly one of the best granola recipes I have ever tasted and as soon as I shake this airplane cold, those hot trays will be coming in and out of my ovens.
It wasn't until I read the Rancho de los Caballeros granola recipe on the flight home that I realized they obviously make this in huge breakfast batches as it is one of their most popular recipe requests. They told me it freezes well so I am going to make the supersized batch and give jars as crunchy treats to some of my friends. You can adjust the fixins to suit your appetite.
Everything in moderation, which definitely includes granola. But this crunchy treat sure adds a good bit of fiber and taste to smooth yogurt, another healthy favorite. I add in diced bananas, fresh pomegranate, blueberries, chopped walnuts and a bit of honey to Greek yogurt, then layer it with granola..........the taste highlight of my day. I have never gained an ounce eating this each and every night for the past two years but I can't say I have lost any either. Some people love a glass of wine each day. I weirdly feel that way about granola, especially when it is homemade.
Rancho de los Caballeros Homemade Granola
15 cups old fashioned rolled oats
5 cups sweetened coconut flakes
5 cups slivered almonds
2.5 cups vegetable oil
2 cups brown sugar
1.5 cups honey
5 tsp. cinnamon
5 tsp. salt
Mix all of the above ingredients, spray your cookie sheet with Pam (or line your trays with parchment paper) and bake at 325 degrees. Bake until the granola begins to brown which is approximately 15 to 25 minutes, you might want to check midway and stir it up a bit. I would suggest leaving some bigger granola clusters. Allow to cool and mix in the following dried fruits which can be chopped to any size you prefer. Will keep stored in a container for 2 weeks but as I mentioned, it freezes well.
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried prunes
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup golden raisins.
If you happen to like your granola fruit a bit softer, you can use this slow-roasted Cranberry Coconut Granola recipe found here which includes the healthy addition of flax and sesame seeds and extra-virgin olive oil instead of the typical vegetable oil. Either recipe makes for hearty and thoughtful granola gifting..........who wouldn't enjoy that in the wintry months ahead?
Top photo by Sande Chase/Photo 2, 3, and 4 via Pinterest here.