Dry Ingredients:Stir together a total of 20 - 22 cups from the following options. I prefer my supersize stainless steel bowl which is generally reserved for major canning projects. Using an extra large container cuts down on stirring stress (translate: mess) if your kitchen help tends to be standing on stools or sitting on the counter top. This is a great recipe for kiddo helpers, since the measurements don't have to be exact.
12-14 cups oats – quick or rolled
Nuts, chopped – English walnuts, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds, unsalted peanuts
Coconut – sweetened or not, very fine or shredded
Bran cereal – all bran or fiber one or some generic equivalent of the twiggy type bran cereal
Something dusty – whole wheat flour, ground flax, wheat germ/bran, cornmeal
oil – canola, vegetable, margarine or butter
honey, molasses, karo
flavoring – maple, almond extract, vanilla
peanut butter (I don’t use this when I include coconut, somehow those flavors aren't compatible to me.)
2. Liquids (combine in 2 cup microwavable container)
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup margarine
½ cup brown sugar (honey when I have it.)
¼ cup molasses, or a bit more.
1 tsp maple flavoring
1 tsp vanilla
milk - I "top off" the liquids with milk to reach the 2 cup mark.
3. Microwave for 1 minute and stir together. (Might need another 30 seconds to be liquified.)
4. Stir into blended dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
5. Bake in two 9x13 cake pans (un-greased) for 30-40 minutes at 300 degrees.
For younger children or those who want a softer cereal: At serving time, add milk, then microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave another 30 seconds. Let the bowl sit for a few minutes; serve with additional milk. The texture is more like traditional oatmeal but the flavor is much fuller.
You may add dried fruit such as raisins, dried apples, craisins, etc. I love a bowl of applesauce with crunchy chunks of granola stirred into that delicious sweetness. Of course, granola tastes great with milk or yogurt at breakfast, at bedtime...anytime!!