Monday, February 3, 2014

Good For You Granola

Granola is one of those things that is really yummy with milk for breakfast, sprinkled over yogurt for a snack, or simply by the handful, but it is also one of those foods you really have to watch. Granola can be loaded with fat, sugar, and other stuff you just don't know how to pronounce.  But it is also one of those things that is really easy to make with stuff you likely have in your pantry and you can control the ingredients that you put in it! Why not do something good for your family and make a batch today!

Good For You Granola
3 cups old fashioned whole oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup chopped or sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried fruit (optional like raisins, cranberries, cherries)
1 TBS. vanilla protein powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup coconut oil (I have substituted peanut butter for a flavor twist)
2 TBS. honey or agave
2 TBS. real maple syrup
(If you don't like maple flavor simply use all honey, or visa/versa)
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine oats, coconut, nuts, protein powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.  In large glass bowl or measuring cup, melt the coconut oil until liquid, add honey, maple syrup or agave, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add liquid mixture to dry mixture and stir well to coat. Spread granola on a large foil line, sprayed jelly roll pan and place in 325 degree oven for 30 minutes stirring about every 10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool, add dried fruit if using, and store in airtight container.

Cooks Notes - I usually make 2 batches at a time, it fits well on my jelly roll pan and works perfect!  My family are not big raisin or chewy fruit eaters so we leave it out.  Just like dried fruit , a lot of people don't like coconut, so this is totally optional, just play with it and add what your family loves.  I have made this granola using peanut butter instead of oil for a fun peanuty twist, and I think this would be great with a few mini chocolate chips added at the end instead of dried fruit!  The protein powder is just to give the granola a little added protein boost but it is totally optional too... just be creative!


Use Old fashioned whole grain oats


Place oats  into large bowl (this is a double batch)


Add nuts and coconut


Add cinnamon and salt


Add vanilla protein powder (optional)


Combine honey, syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla in a separate bowl and stir


Pour liquid mixture over oat/nut mixture in the large bowl


Stir to completely cover oat/nut mixture


Cover a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil (this helps with clean up)
Spray with non stick cooking spray


Spread oat mixture onto prepared pan


Bake in a 325 degree oven stirring every 10 minutes
 until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool.  
Store in airtight container


Enjoy!
Sandy