Great entries everyone! I can tell that we were all getting into that January groove of feeling healthy, but also having the time to get creative, too. Before I reveal the winners, a few observations:
I noticed how the additions of chocolate chips and coconut were the most common. You tied these flavours in nicely, and clearly you know how to make a crowd-pleasing granola.
I love that you took the time to name your personal granola recipes! Favourites include:
Nonna's Biscotti Granola
Bountiful Berry Granola
Audrey's Cherrific Mixed Nuts Granola
Savoury Curry Granola (very inventive - great idea!)
Take Me to the Tropics Granola
The Raisin Almond Awesomeness Granola
Carrot Cake Granola Delight
And for the winners:
Top prize: Jessica W. Congratulations Jessica. Your command of nutritional values impressed me, and you put great effort into making a granola that packs a great punch in vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and more, but also factored in a balance of flavour.
Second Prize: Melissa L. I very much enjoyed your story about your Meme, and now that you are baking as a Meme yourself, the love & caring shows. Additionally I appreciated how effortlessly you adjusted the recipe to make granola bars.
Clearly we have a group of talented bakers who aren't afraid to think as they bake! Well, I'll get you thinking with the next Bake Off recipe!
'Show Your Style Granola'
Makes about 6 cups (1.5 L)
2 cups regular rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/2 cups whole or sliced nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts or even pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, or a mix)
½ cup wheat germ
¼ cup sesame seeds
½ cup pure maple syrup or honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
dash of vanilla extract
2 cups dried fruits (such as raisins, currants, chopped dried apricots, chopped prunes, dried cranberries, dried cherries or a mix)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Combine the oats, nuts, wheat germ and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup (or honey), oil, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and vanilla and stir well to coat. Spread this onto the prepared baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until a rich golden brown, stirring 3 times as it bakes.
3. Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, stir in the dried fruits. Allow the granola to cool before packing into an airtight container.
The granola will keep for up to 3 weeks.
Professionally trained pastry chef Anna Olson is the host of Food Network's Bake with Anna Olson. Anna’s culinary philosophy is based on a common-sense approach of cooking and baking with the seasons, as well as respecting the ingredients, the technique and the process of sharing with others through food. Most of all, cooking and baking should be fun!