Jeffrey Kohn, co-owner of Kneaded Bread, shares his recipe for top-tier granola so you can cook some up come that next big hike.
When embarking on your next outdoor adventure, trail mix or its forefather, granola, are both superlative picks. Essentially trail mix, granola has roots in America that date back to Dr. James Caleb Jackson, a New York Christian physician.
Long before the era of açai bowls, Jackson served guests at his upstate sanatorium a combination of graham flour and bran. The mixture would be soaked in milk (which technically differentiates granola from trail mix). This forerunner of granola was originally called granula before the recipe was borrowed by John Harvey Kellogg, yes, of the cereal family, who changed the name to granola, and the rest, as they say, is culinary history.
Some of the best granola can be found at your local bakery, and we went to the source, Kneaded Bread, in Port Chester, to uncover the secret behind their very popular granola blend. Jeffrey Kohn, who for the past 25 years has owned the always-busy, seven-day-a-week establishment with his wife, Jennifer, notes that granola might be the object of misinterpretation.
“People feel granola is a healthy product — I’m not so sure,” says Kohn. “I’m not saying it’s not, but we do lather ours in coconut, nuts, and fruits with European butter and pure honey.” He goes on to say, however, that it is the perfect take along on a hike as it has “lots of fiber; whole grains from the rolled oats can provide substance with carbs for energy.”
The addition of sunflower seeds, cranberries, coconut, apricots, and the unexpected date adds complexity, just the right amount of sweetness and body. Taste for yourself when you snag one of their bags of granola, or give Kohn’s recipe below a try yourself.
Yields 18 cups
¼ cup honey
½ lb sweet, unsalted butter
5 cups rolled oats
3½ cups sliced, blanched almonds
2½ cups sunflower seeds
2½ cups coconut flakes
1½ cups brown sugar
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried apricot (cut into strips)
1 cup dates (seed removed and cut into bite size pieces)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt honey and butter together on stovetop, then put aside. 2. Place oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add the melted butter and honey to the bowl and mix with your hands to incorporate and evenly distribute so all ingredients are coated. (Do not add dried fruit yet.)
Evenly divide the mixture in a single layer on sheet pans and place in a preheated 350°F oven.
Every 10–15 minutes, take out sheet pans and mix granola with a spatula. Get the uncooked stuff on the bottom and bring to top. Keep baking until golden.
During the last 3 minutes of baking, add the dried fruit.
Store in a Ziploc bag or sealed container.
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