Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Healthy Granola

 We have been on a granola kick for a few months now.  (Thanks to my sister-in-law for getting us hooked!)  We have actually completed stopped buying store-bought cereal because we just eat homemade granola for breakfast.  We also stopped buying store-bought bread since I make my own.  I truly think some of these changes have helped us lower our grocery bill significantly.  The ingredients used for granola are not too expensive and they last a long time.  I actually bought a lot of the ingredients in bulk at Costco so I’m stocked for a while! 

 Another thing I've recently started to do is mix up multiple batches of the dry ingredients ahead of time and freeze the mix in a Ziploc bag.  Then when I want to bake the granola, I have the dry ingredients ready to mix with the sweetener and oil and voila!  Easy breezy. 

The thing I love about homemade granola (other than the fact that it is healthy and delicious) is that you can change it up however you want.  Sometimes I've added peanut butter, chocolate chips, or varied the amounts of sugar and spices.  Feel free to do the same if you use this recipe!

Healthy Granola
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I use half almonds, half walnuts)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 T milled flaxseed
1-2 T flaxseed whole
1-2 T sunflower kernels (out of shell)
½ teaspoon orange zest
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey, real maple syrup, or agave nectar (I have tried it with each different sweetener and I usually stick with just honey)
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or coconut, canola, or vegetable)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried fruit (I use dried cranberries)


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Mix all dry ingredients (except for fruit) in a large bowl. Stir preferred sweetener and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Stir in vanilla.

Pour sweet mixture over oat mixture; toss to coat evenly. Spread on prepared sheet.

Bake for about 21 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes, until golden (Stirring is key to make sure you don’t burn the granola!  After many attempts, this is the baking time I feel is perfect). Place sheet on rack. Stir granola; cool. Mix in fruit. Store airtight.  This lasts for about a week in our house and then I make a new batch!  Enjoy! :)

Recipe adapted from Perry's Plate

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