Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Recipe :: Homemade Crunchy Granola

Yep, I was on a healthy kick yesterday! Homemade banana chips, white bean & chicken chili and granola!
Dried Blueberries, golden raisins, toasted coconut and flax seed!
Some of my dearest colleagues "ahem" are focusing on improving their daily eating habits, thus it rubbed off on me. While I embark on a few trips in the next few months, the thought of road trip and airplane food is serioulsy depressing me. {I'm not a fast-food kind of girl} So, I figured if I bulk up on my healthy eats before each trip, that my advance efforts may erase offset damage done during each excursion. Yeah yeah, I know, this is not true and I should eat moderately and healthy all year round...

If you're like me and trying to incorporate a few more healthy eats/snacks in your daily routine, here's my favorite granola recipe that I adjust based on the staples I have on hand. This is a super crunchy granola that doesn't clump and has just enough sweetness to enjoy with milk or topped on your yogurt!

Full recipe and photos after the jump!

Homemade Granola

6 cups of whole oats
1/4-1/2 cup of flax seed
1-1.5 cups of dried fruit {I prefer raisins, dried blueberries, cranberries & cherries}
1 cup of sliced or chopped nuts
1/2 cup of canola oil
2/3 cup of maple syrup {we use Grade B}
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2-3 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tsp of cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg {optional}
1/2 tsp salt
fistful of coconut flakes {optional}



Directions:

Preheat oven 325 deg F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. Add oats, nuts, flax seed and combine.

Coat a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray. Pour oat mixture in and level but don't flatten it.

Bake for 30 minutes. : Hint Hint : set a timer! I've burned many batches! Grab a spatula or spoon to gently rotate the oat mixture. Back in the oven for 12 minutes increments. Repeat stirring every 12 minutes until golden brown and crispy. You'll be able to tell when it's done b/c the oats will be dried out and crunchy! This usually takes about 60-72 minutes total for me.

Remove from oven mix in dried fruit and coconut {if using} and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks!



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