Friday, September 6, 2013

Honey Maple Granola

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Granola is one of those things that is just so versatile!  It's great "as is" for a snack, you can have it as any other cereal with milk, it's great on top of yogurt, you name it!  When you pick up a package of granola at the market, however, the list of "non food items" in the ingredient list can be pretty long - there are many preservatives and such in there.  Believe me, this is such an easy-to-make, healthy snack for your whole family!  There is a ton of protein from all the nuts, a good source of dietary fiber and iron in the oats, and wheat germ is one of the most highly (naturally occurring) concentrated sources of vitamin E.

The other thing about making it at home, is that you get to customize it any way you would like.  So feel free to use your favorite dried fruit (apricots, raisins, blueberries, etc), change up the nuts as you see fit, and add or delete ingredients however you would like.   Have fun with it and enjoy!!

Click for Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
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  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, shelled and salted
  • 1 cup rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarse chopped
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 2/3 dried fruit
    • I used dried cherries
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar,packed
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
    • I used clear Mexican vanilla
Step-by-step:
Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl.  
4 cups old fashioned oats
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, purchased already shelled and salted
1 cup rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
3/4 cup pecans, chopped fine
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup walnuts, coarse chopped
1/2 cup wheat germ
In a separate saucepan, mix the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla. 
1/4 cup light brown sugar,packed
3/4 tsp table salt
4 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp honey
1 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
Bring this syrup mixture to a boil for 2 - 3 minutes, then remove from heat and pour over the oatmeal mixture. 

Stir until well mixed.  Pour out the mixture onto two parchment paper lined baking sheets and spread it out. 



Bake at 250 degrees F and stir every 15 minutes for a total of 1 hour.  Every time I stirred the granola, I rotated the pans.
For the last 15 minute segment, add the cherries and coconut - divided equally between the two baking sheets.    
2/3 cup dried fruit - I used dried cherries
1 cup coconut
Remove from the oven and let cool.

Note - It won't really crisp until it cools.  That won't happen in the oven.  Store in an airtight container once totally cool. Then watch it disappear!!
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As always, here are some great "bonus" recipes for you:
Tomato Zucchini and Ricotta Tarts


Sweet Potato Souffle


Roasted Green Beans


Ham and Cheese Crescents - For Kids, By Kids


Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli


Skinny Mexican Pizza


Written Method:
Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl.  In a separate saucepan, mix the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Bring this syrup mixture to a boil for 2 - 3 minutes, then remove from heat and pour over the oatmeal mixture.  Stir until well mixed.  Pour out the mixture onto two parchment paper lined baking sheets and spread it out.  Bake at 250 degrees F and stir every 15 minutes for a total of 1 hour.  For the last 15 minute segment, add the cherries and coconut - divided equally between the two baking sheets.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  It won't really crisp until it cools.  Store in an airtight container once totally cool.

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