Here's another recipe that my mom invented. She used to make a huge batch of this granola for our annual backpacking trip. Her batch made 4 times as much as the recipe that I'm giving you now, it was pretty amazing. And it is much cheaper than buying granola at the store. This recipe is really easy to change the flavors by using different spices, or adding nuts or coconut or anything you like. Today I even added some soaked cracked flaxseed. You could make it taste like gingersnaps by using ground ginger and replacing some of the water with molasses, or you could use maple syrup and eat it with bits of dried apples. You may want to add even more spices than I call for here if you find that it is too bland. If you want to add dried fruit like raisins, you should just add them to your bowl when you eat it. I once tried adding raisins to the mixture before baking, and they soaked up all the moisture and then burned, even though the rest of the granola was fine. But if you add dried fruit to the granola when it is dry and packaged, the remaining moisture will soak into the granola and in a couple of days you will have damp or even moldy granola. But the options are endless, so go crazy!
9 cups regular rolled oats, or a mixture of regular and quick cooking oats
1 cup chopped almonds, lightly toasted or raw
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup oil or butter
1 tsp salt, or more to taste
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp cinnamon
other spices to taste
In a large bowl combine the oats and almonds and any other dry add-ins you want. Heat the sugar, water, oil, salt and spices in a small saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved and butter (if using) is melted. Pour the liquid mixture into the oats gradually, a little at a time, and stir it thoroughly. Divide the mixture between two or three cookie sheets and bake slowly at 250 for about 1 hour, turning with a spatula every 15 minutes. Let it sit in the oven to finish drying in the residual heat and then cool completely. Store the granola in an airtight container.