Monday, October 6, 2008

Homemade Granola

I never really thought about making Granola myself until my husband and I went on our one year anniversary trip to Napa/Sonoma Valley in August. We stayed at the Kenwood Inn and Spa for a few days and they made the best homemade granola I have ever tasted. I was hooked! So upon my return home, I made a batch and it’s now one of my favorite things to munch on at my desk at work. (This is now my THIRD time in one week to make this).

It’s filling and it can sustain me until lunchtime (I know, even for me). PLUS, it’s got that added bonus of oats for a cholesterol reducer, dried fruits with antioxidants, cinnamon which is also heart healthy, and if you use the right nuts, you can get some omega 3’s in there as well. It’s got a nice light crunch, and very cinnamon-y. So there you have it…not only is it healthy, but it’s GOOD!

I dare you to make a batch and not eat it in one sitting. Go on…give it a try!! You have nothing to lose but those preservatives in your other morning cereals and chances are you have most of these ingredients just sitting in your pantry.

Recipe derived from "The Joy of Baking", with my personal changes

Coco’s Homemade Granola

3 Cups of Oats (not instant)
½ T Wheat Germ
¾ Slivered Almonds (or any almonds, something chopped is easier to eat)
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
½ Sunflower seeds
1 T. Cinnamon (I don’t know about you but Im wild about cinnamon and its good for you, so I added 2 T.)
1 t. Vanilla (I’m not shy on vanilla, feel free to add a ½ t. more)
¼ t. Kosher Salt
1 T. Brown Sugar (optional-I used it)
2 T. Honey
2 T. Canola Oil
½ Cup Pure maple Syrup (Grade A Dark Amber) Spare yourself the disappointment and please don’t use the processed junk--no I won't name names. :)
1 Cup Dried Fruits—reserve. (I have used dried cherries, blueberries, raisons, dates.)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease pan, OR you can use parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine: Oats, wheat germ, nuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, salt.

In another bowl combine: Vanilla, Brown Sugar, Honey, Canola Oil, and Maple Syrup.

Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until combined. Spread on baking sheet.

All ready for the oven

Cook for 30-40 minutes. Stirring occasionally. (This allows the mixture to brown evenly and great that nice light crunch).

Cool on wire rack, breaking up any large chunks/pieces while warm. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator to keep fresh for several weeks.

Add the dried fruits once mixture is cooked and cooled.

Cooled granola with various dried fruits
**Makes 5 cups

Top with lowfat yogurt for a great breakfast or treat!

Granola with yogurt, now if I could just start making my OWN yogurt...we're in business!

Me, taking a break on Saturday while working on new recipes

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