I don’t know about you, but the thing I hate about making granola is the constant stirring while it’s in the oven. Good grief, who has the time for that!? And you have to hang around in the kitchen waiting for the next buzzer to go off. I’m not a fan. You can tell I’ve put some thought into this! Sometimes I think about making granola, but I’m annoyed about all the stirring, so I skip it. However, I have these 3 hungry, growing boys who always seem to need something in.their.mouths. and they really like granola, especially on my homemade yogurt. I’d really prefer that they eat homemade granola because store bought granola is full of sugar and fat and really expensive. At least with the homemade stuff I know what’s in there. I also think yogurt and granola is a really good snack for them to eat, so I like to be able to offer it.
Sooooooo…..I was really excited about the possibilities of this recipe :). I tried it out last week and LOVED it. I don’t always get so excited about granola, but I really liked this stuff! A lot of granola seems just okay to me, but I could eat a whole batch of this no problem. It’s a little addicting. And for the first time, I’ve been using this for breakfast as cereal with milk. Delicious! I try not to eat a huge, heaping bowl, because I know granola can be high in calories, but a modest amount really fills me up for the morning. I love that I’m eating all whole grains! This is a great gluten-free alternative to cereal as well.
The first batch went over so well that it was gone before I could even take a picture. Three days later I made another batch, a double batch. This time I got a picture :). (All this talk about how good this is, I had to go get a bowl of it to munch on)
Like most granola recipes, this can be adapted to your tastes. Just include your favorite things! The best part is, stir everything together, press into a pan, pop in the oven and walk away for 30 minutes! Awesome. If you don’t get excited about granola, give this a try before you give up on it for good.
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey. I confess that I used corn syrup, half light, half dark. It was sooo good. The second time I used corn syrup and honey. So use some type of sticky, sweet substance that you like!)
1/3 cup light brown sugar (this can be reduced to half if you prefer)
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil and I strongly recommend this healthier alternative. You won’t taste the coconut flavor)
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (or any other nut you prefer. For my second batch I dumped in every nut I had in the house to come up with enough…time to go buy almonds)
1/4 – 1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup shredded coconut (omit if you don’t like coconut)
2 cups raisins, craisins or other dried fruit (I did not add this to mine, sometimes I add craisins to it when the kids eat it)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a rimmed baking sheet. Whisk together the maple syrup or honey, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and oil. Stir in oats, almonds, flaxseed and coconut. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan, press evenly into pan.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, this will depend on preference…some like it light brown, some very brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break into pieces and place in airtight container. Add dried fruit if desired. The granola will stay fresh in an airtight container for a month.
Note: I always make a double batch, but I have not had success in baking both trays at once, even though I rotate them. It always get too brown. So now I bake one tray and then the next and it comes out perfectly.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen