This recipe is printed with permission from Gibbs Smith and the photos are by Ilva Beretta HOMEMADE GRANOLA IS SO MUCH EASIER to make than you think. Just stir the ingredients together and bake—it’s so easy to adapt to your own taste and what you have on hand. For a tropical- flavored granola, add chopped candied pineapple, orange, and lemon instead of dried berries, and toss in dried coconut flakes. Raisins, chopped dates, gs, or prunes make for an exotic treat. You could also add coarsely chopped or grated dark or milk chocolate. To heighten the orange flavor, whisk a few drops of orange oil or extract or 1 or 2 teaspoons orange blossom water into the liquid ingredients. And you can change out some of the oats for another flaked whole grain such as quinoa or spelt, if you prefer.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In another bowl, whisk together the orange zest, juice, oils, and maple syrup until combined and the zest is no longer in clumps. Pour the liquid ingredients over the oat mixture and stir until evenly moistened and well-coated. Spread the granola mixture in a thin, even layer over the baking sheet.
Bake the granola for 30–35 minutes, carefully stirring every 10 minutes, making sure to push the granola from the outer edges in towards the center to avoid burning. Bake for a bit less time if you like chewier, moister granola, and a bit longer if you like dryer, crispier granola. The granola will continue to dry and clump as it cools, so if in doubt, remove from the oven sooner than later.
Allow the granola to cool completely before pouring into a clean bowl. Add the dried fruit to the granola and toss to evenly distribute. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.