Last Summer, when my daughter moved into her new home, a neighbor brought her some granola. It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift. All that homemade goodness made a perfect housewarming gift ~ especially when we were neck deep in boxes.
It was even more impressive when my picky grandchildren dove into it, from day one. They loved it! After that, they begged me to make more. I have found that the sky is the limit, so far as ingredients go. Granola is such a wholesome cereal, especially since you have control over what goes into it.
Using my neighbors recipe as a basis, I decided to experiment with some of my favorite ingredients. Any nuts, dried fruit, grains combined with honey, syrups or brown sugar, even peanut butter and chocolate chips… what ever ingredients you have on hand will work..and you can even add to it as you go. Just be creative and have fun.
Begin with Old fashioned rolled oats. You don’t want quick oats. Real Maple syrup. Use the real thing…and I don’t mean Coke. Real Maple Syrup. I find bargains at TJMaxx. I prefer white raisins over dark, but that is your choice. Pecans and sliced almonds are great. I love dried sweet cherries. LOVE THEM. You’ll want some whole wheat flour, ground flax seed (Optional) but it is so nutritious that it’s good to add to your diet and this is an easy way to sneak it in. Olive oil or coconut oil. I have used both and prefer the coconut, it has a great flavor. Cinnamon, vanilla and salt.
And might I add here….I have a thyroid problem and one of the reason for the rise in thyroid problems is that people are using sea salt rather than salt that has been fortified with iodine…Iodine is essential for thyroid health…so remember this: Morton’s iodized salt is healthy for your thyroid! Don’t eliminate it from your diet….
Just simply add all ingredients except nuts and fruit.
Stir in syrup and press into a lightly greased baking pan. Bake in a 300* oven for 50 minutes. During the last 10 minutes add your nuts.
When adding nuts you may stir granola. But, if you are like me and want a chunky granola, do not stir until removed from oven and cooled.
Once you have removed from oven, add fruit and toss. Store in air tight container. Granola will keep several weeks.
When I see the jar of granola is dwindling, I bake some more and add it all together. Great for a snack or breakfast or anytime you are wanting something delicious! Oh, and did I mention it’s healthy? You don’t have to tell the children. What they don’t know, will keep them healthy.
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup flax seed flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 1/3 cup Olive Oli or Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 cup golden raisins
- This is the basic recipe….which can be altered with any or the following:
- Dried cherries, blueberries, dates, apricot, mango…what ever you love
- Nuts: Peanuts, pecans, sliced almonds, pistachio, macadamia, walnuts..what ever you love
- You may substitute honey for maple syrup. If you may want more sweetness: add 1/4 brown sugar.
- Chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and all other various types candies can be added…after the mixture has cooled….otherwise they will melt…
- The sky is the limit and your imagination….this is such an individual recipe, each time you make it it will be different...
- Preheat oven to 300* Lightly grease a jelly roll pan or similar flat baking pan.
- Mix flours and oats in a large bowl. add cinnamon, salt and mix. Add oil, syrup and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Press into a lightly greased baking pan.
- Bake in a preheated 300* oven for 50 minutes.
- At the end of the 50 minutes, remove from oven and add sprinkle nuts over top, return to the oven for 10 more minutes.
- You may stir the granola before returning to oven or leave as is for a chunkier granola.
- Add fruit when removed from oven.
- Cool completely, break it up with a fork.
- You may add chocolate chips and such, if you are using them, after cooling.
- Store in an airtight container. Granola will last 2-3 weeks. Enjoy!