Thursday, March 15, 2012

Granola

I've found that making your own foods is not only cheaper, but better in general because you can fit it to your tastes. Today, I made this granola, and I have to say, its so good! It fills you up with just a small amount and is good for energy in the morning (or any time of day, for that matter). I use it to snack on as well, because it's easy to just grab a handful and shove it in your mouth with a baby on one arm while you're busy during the day.

The recipe fills about half a gallon ziploc bag (as long as you don't burn it like I did the first time I made it ;) )

Granola


8 c Oats
1 c Sunflower Seeds (preferably unsalted, but whatever you can get)
1 c Sliced Almonds
1/2 c chopped Walnuts
1 tsp Salt
1/2 c Light Brown Sugar
1/4 c Maple Syrup
1 c Oil
1 T Cinnamon
1 T Vanilla
2 c Raisins

In a large bowl, combine the Oats and Nuts. In a medium pot, combine Salt, Brown Sugar, Syrup, Oil, Cinnamon and Vanilla. Bring to a boil and pour over Oat mixture. Mix, coating everything well. Spread evenly onto cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, stirring once about halfway through. Once cool, add Raisins.

**NOTE** Do NOT add Raisins before baking! I was in a bit of a rush when making it today and threw everything in together. Miss Emily was being a bit fussy and I was just trying to get it done. When I went to stir, I realized I had these black, plump balls on my tray and cursed myself for adding them. Once cool, I tasted one, hoping they were ok. Needless to say, they tasted sweet, but very burned, so I had to pick them all out (that's a lot of raisins!), and then toss more in when bagging it up.

This is a pretty simple recipe that can be altered for your taste. Once, I made it without the raisins but added 2 mashed bananas to the pot of sugar, oil, etc and it came out delish! I made it today, and added some Honey to the mix instead of the Maple Syrup. You could add peanut butter (I'd say about 2T) It all depends on what  you're in the mood for. You can add some dried fruit, other nuts, nutmeg, allspice, flax seed, wheat germ, etc.; whatever you want. It's awesome with a little bit of milk, on top of some yogurt with some fruit, or as stated above, as a snack here and there. Don't be tricked into thinking this is unhealthy because of the sugary ingredients. When comparing the amount of liquid to the amount of dry ingredients, its simply enough to coat. Otherwise, you end up with a very dry breakfast.

Enjoy!



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