Granola

I haven’t bought cereal in almost a year.  Well, that’s not quite true.  I still buy the occasional box of rice puffs to make yummy chocolaty dessert bars (would you like a post on those?…let me know in the comments).  But for breakfast-eating purposes, cereal has been permanently stricken from the shopping list.  I love deleting items from my shopping list in favor of homemade!  And this recipe is awesome because it’s hubby-approved, kid-approved, and even inhaled by friends’ kiddos who are way pickier than mine.

I modified my recipe from several I’ve tried via friends’ blogs and Pinterest.  This one makes a nice big batch, and it’s versatile because I don’t add any nuts/fruit – you just toss whatever you like on top of your bowl.  Hubby is not a dried nuts/fruit fan.  Sinner.  He usually eats his granola on top of some agave-sweetened yogurt.  Plain and simple, and pretty yummy.  This is how I like to enjoy it: with a few almonds and cranberries on top.

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My boys like it any ol’ way, but I think their favorite is with fresh blueberries.  Try it!  You’ll like it, and have one less boxed-food in the cart!

GRANOLA

Ingredients
6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. brown sugar*
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla

*You can sub coconut sugar for part or all of the brown sugar, if you’re a sugar-limiting type.  I tried it this last time for the 2 tbsp and it still came out delicious.

Method
You will need two bowls – a big one and a medium sized one.  Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.  Mix all your dry ingredients (oats thru salt) in the big bowl.  Mix honey, coconut oil and vanilla in the smaller bowl.  I love the way the honey+coconut+vanilla looks and smells.  It is smooth, pudding-y and divine.

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Now, pour your honey mixture over the oat mixture, and stir to combine.

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Spread it all out on a half sheet baking pan.  If you’re using a standard aluminum pan, coat it with nonstick spray or use parchment paper.  I have a silicone-coated half-sheet pan that is my current best friend in the kitchen.  No greasing needed, and silicone being a natural material is safe for your body (unlike Teflon).  Everything I cook on it (cookies, potatoes, granola, pizza…basically everything that needs a shallow baking surface gets thrown on this pan!) literally slides right off. It is a thing of beauty, tellyouwhat!

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Bake for 20 minutes, then gently stir.  Bake another 15-20 minutes.  Warning: your house is going to smell like heaven.  Exactly like heaven.  Your family will flock, drooling, to the kitchen and ask “what’s for dessert?” when in fact you are cooking up breakfast.  Mark my words!

When it’s done, remove from the oven and allow to cool overnight.  I always make this recipe after my kidlets have gone to bed, and then just let it cool in the cracked-open oven all night long.  Night time is usually when I make cookies, brownies, etc. so you can understand my poor husband’s confusion when presented with this lovely smell.

When completely cool and crunchy, pour the granola into a canister.  It keeps…well…far longer than it lasts in our house!  We gobble it down in under a week.

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Yum, yum.  Is it breakfast time yet?

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