I did some research in the granola section at the supermarket, and all of the granola I found contained some sort of ingredient I had issues with. This recipe has just the good stuff — whole oats, nuts, seeds, and cinnamon with just enough local maple syrup or agave nectar to hold it all together. The predominant flavor is that of roasted nuts. My husband says it makes the whole house smell like Christmas. If you want to add dried fruits, do so after the granola is completely cooled.

Ingredients:

6 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup or more various seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia

1 cup maple syrup or agave nectar

¼ cup Ceylon (preferably) cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a huge mixing bowl and stir well until evenly moistened.
  2. Top two large baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly distribute the granola on each.  Press it down firmly into the pans.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 28 minutes, until lightly browned, switching the position of the baking sheets after 14 minutes. Do not stir it! Do not burn the granola or it will be bitter.
  4. Turn the oven off but leave the pans in the oven, with the door slightly ajar, until cooled somewhat. This will help to make the granola crisper and drier.
  5. Let the granola cool completely on the sheet pans before breaking it up and storing it.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at wendyandrayzer@yahoo.com.

NOTE: Last week’s “Food for Life” column mistakenly referred to the dish as “mashed potatoes.” They are correctly called “smashed potatoes.”