In 1970, my parents were in their early 40’s and were actually cool. Dad was finding his woodcraft roots in building a boat, and Mom was in a midi vest with her hair in a French roll, making healthy foods. I can remember so well shopping at Galloway’s on Robson, and at International Foods. Not every thing Mom made was wonderful, but she was going out there, trying. We had one of her high school textbooks from Home Economics, and believe me, trying anything new was a big step, comparatively.
We would look through the burlap bags sitting on the floor at Galloway’s, filled with nuts, seeds and other interesting ingredients. International Foods would fill your olfactory senses with strange exotic scents from burgeoning countries. About this time, Granola became a mainstay in our society’s food cache. It has changed over the years, but here’s what I remember. Mixed grains, nuts & seeds, sweetened with honey and dried fruits. I no longer remember exactly how we made it, but here’s the version I now make for our family and friends.
Preheat oven to 300°
4 c large flake rolled oats
2 c barley flakes (available in the bulk section or from Bob’s Red Mill)
½ c wheat germ, ground flax or oat bran (use one)
1 c dried coconut (unsweetened)
½ t salt
1 c raw almonds, chopped
1 c of any of the following nuts, chopped: raw cashews, pistachios, pecans or hazelnuts (use one type)
½ c raw pumpkin seeds (unsalted)
½ c raw sunflower seeds (unsalted)
½ c canola oil
½ c coconut milk, coconut water, or plain water (use one)
1 c honey or pure maple syrup (use one)
1 ½ t vanilla
2 c mixed dried fruits – only use two different kinds to define the flavour of your granola: sultanas, Muscat raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, chopped mango, chopped pineapple
Thoroughly mix the grains, seeds, nuts & salt together.
In another bowl or measuring cup, mix the wet ingredients. Measure the oil first, and the other ingredients will slip out of the cup.
If you don’t have two pans large enough, halve the recipe, as the dry ingredients should not sit wet for more than 5 minutes before toasting. And this will happen if you don’t have enough room on your pans. This is why you should always read through a recipe before making it!
Toast for 30 minutes, take out the pans, stir the granola, evenly distribute it again in the pan, and rotate the pans when putting them back in the oven for another 30 minutes.
Store in a sealed container for up to a month.