WILD HONEY AND PUMPKIN SEED GRANOLA
1 c. wild, raw honey
1/3 c. safflower oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
5-6 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1 c. wheat germ
2 c. roasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. walnuts or cashews
1/2 c. brown sugar (opt.)
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2 c. golden raisins or other dried fruits
Preheat oven to 300º and line 2 large rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking oil.
Mix together dry ingredients: oats, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, nuts, and brown sugar. If pumpkin seeds are salted, you may prefer to reduce or omit additional salt.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the honey (you can use virtually any honey in this recipe), safflower oil and salt. Stir until warm and well blended. Honey mixture should be warm enough to pour freely. Add vanilla and stir again. Pour warm honey mixture over oat mixture and stir until well coated.
Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheets and bake, stirring at 15 minute intervals until toasted and golden in color. Watch closely to prevent burning.
Remove from oven and let cool until barely warm. Then stir in chocolate morsels so they melt slightly. Oats and nuts will stick to the soft chocolate, forming crunchy chunks. Cool mixture completely, then add dried fruit and store in airtight containers or zipper lock bags.
Sprinkle this granola into yogurt, onto salads, eat as a breakfast cereal, or by the handful as an on-the-go snack. One handful is approximately a 1/4 cup serving.
Optional additions: Banana chips or toasted coconut. Slivered almonds or sunflower seeds can be substituted for pumpkin seeds.
Makes 12 cups, 270 calories per 1/2 cup serving. Omitting the brown sugar and increasing the quantity of rolled oats will help reduce the calories per serving.