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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Easy Cinnamon Granola


I have a confession to make. Until last week, I had never in my life made granola. I mean seriously...who has made homemade tortillas, her own Thin Mint cookies and bakes bread from scratch--yet has never made granola!? And who starts a Facebook group for natural-living type folks, names it Crunchy Granola Chicks and has never actually made the stuff before? Ha ha! The answer to both of those questions is ME!

This granola is sooo easy that it's embarrassing! I have bought granola and paid $4 a bag for it on more than one occasion. I can't believe that it's really as simple as making Rice Krispie Treats. Mix the wet ingredients, stir in the dry ingredients and put it in the oven. That's it! (For the record, I realize that you don't bake Rice Krispie Treats. Ha!)

I personally eat this deliciousness by the handful. It's also fabulous on a yogurt parfait or as a breakfast cereal with some almond milk on top. My two year old thinks "grow-la" is the best stuff known to man and she asks for it all the time. 

This recipe is slightly sweet, but not overly sweet. It also is more of a loose granola instead of the variety with the big clusters. I used a quarter cup each of almonds, pecans, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Dried fruit is completely optional, but I used raisins because that is what I had on hand. Have I mentioned how phenomenal my house smelled while this was baking? Mmmm!

Easy Cinnamon Granola

Makes approximately 4 cups

1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted (or oil of choice)
3 T. sucanat or brown sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
2 c. rolled oats
2 T. whole wheat flour or oat flour 
1 c. nuts and/or seeds (see ideas below)
1/2. dried fruit--such as cherries, raisins, apricots, blueberries, cranberries, etc.

Mix honey, oil, sucanat, cinnamon and flour in a large bowl. 

Add oats and nuts and stir until thoroughly coated.

Pour mixture onto parchment lined cookie sheet (preferably one with sides) and spread evenly. 

Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and fold in dried fruit. Allow to cool completely. Granola will crisp up as it cools. Store in an airtight container.

Mix-in Ideas
almonds
pecans
walnuts
pistachios
pumpkin seeds
sesame seeds
flax seeds
chia seeds
sunflower seeds
shredded coconut
wheat germ

What is your favorite way to eat granola? Do you have preferred add-ins such as nuts, seeds, etc?

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