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Author Notes: When my sons were young, I'd often make a porridge we called "oatmeal cookies for breakfast." It was full of toasted walnuts and raisins with dabs of brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. One bitterly frigid Chicago day, I had no oatmeal on hand because I had used it all to make granola, so that's what I decided to make the oatmeal with. It's filling and nourishing, and it made me feel like a perfect mom when the boys went off to school with a bowlful of this in their bellies. - betteirene
Makes 6-7 cups
For the Granola
- 2 cups oatmeal, preferably long-cooking rolled oats
- 1/2 to 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup honey, maple syrup or 1/2 cup brown sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons corn or other vegetable oil, preferably not canola
- 2 cups total of any combination of coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, shelled unsalted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, wheat germ
- 1 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, mango, pineapple or apricots (chop larger fruits into small dice)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup prepared granola
- In a large bowl, stir together oatmeal, coconut and salt. In a small bowl, combine honey and corn oil until very well blended. Pour over the oatmeal mixture and mix well by hand.
- Heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 15"x10" rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Spread the oatmeal-honey mixture evenly over the parchment and place pan in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Stir nuts into the mixture and bake for 5-10 more minutes, until the granola becomes a light golden brown.
- Allow granola to cool. Place dried fruit in a large bowl. Stir in granola. Store at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
- To make hot granola, for each serving, bring one cup of milk to a simmer. Stir in 1/2 cup of prepared granola and simmer until thickened, adjusting the amount of granola or milk to reach the desired consistency. Scoop into bowls and garnish with additional granola.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Porridge