A couple of years ago at a church activity I was introduced to homemade granola. Once I tasted it, I was hooked and have been making it fairly often ever since. Granola is a great snack because you get your protein from the nuts and flax seed and good carbs from the oats. However, you do have to eat this in moderation since there still are some sweet ingredients in the recipe.
This is more of a guide than an exact recipe. Have fun trying new combinations in your granola. I seldom make the same exact combination. If you have other nuts you prefer to the ones I listed, feel free to use those.
5 cups regular or instant oats
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut
¾ cup brown sugar (if you aren’t watching your sugar intake, you may want to add 1 ½ cups)
2 tsp cinnamon
½ cup ground flax seed (optional)
1 cup sunflower seeds (optional)
1 cup of something sweet, such as craisins, raisins, or chocolate chips
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup honey
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the wet ingredients and blend until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well (may need to use your hands). If you estimated on your measuring and the combined mixture still looks a bit dry just add a bit more honey or syrup. Spread on a foil lined sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. The granola will still look a bit wet when you take it out of the oven and that’s what will make it chewy after it cools completely.
For cereal-style granola (great for quick snacking, as a cereal, or on top of yogurt): When you spread granola on the sheet pan do so lightly without pressing down too much. After it cools, store in plastic zip bags for easy munching.
For granola bars: Press the mixture down into the pan with a spatula after removing from the oven. Cut into bars while still warn. Cool completely and then lift foil out of pan and cut bars again. Keep individually wrapped bars in plastic zip bags or plastic container.
Stayed tuned the next two weeks for Valentine’s Day ideas…which will include some sweet treats you can share with your sweetie, card ideas, & some good love books.