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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Granola Goodness

Yum, homemade granola.  This is a wonderfully healthy snack to eat by the handful for a quick pick-me-up or as breakfast cereal with milk.  You can also sprinkle some over yogurt for a tasty snack parfait (I love Greek yogurt).
This recipe uses a wide variety of ingredients full of healthy fats and nutrients..  The main ingredient, rolled oats provide you with healthy fiber and contribute to reducing your cholesterol and improving your heart health, as well as helping to maintain your blood sugar.  By adding in the walnuts and flaxseed, you also get a brain-boosting amount of DHA and EPA, the omega-3 fatty acids.  Almonds are great at reducing your cholesterol.  Basically all nuts are great for your diet, waistline, and your heart.  The optional fruit add-ins contribute some healthy sweetness, and a number of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.


  • 5 Cups Rolled Oats

  • 1 Cup Sliced Almonds

  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

  • 1 Cup Chopped Pecans

  • 1 Cup Sunflower Seeds

  • 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/2 Cup Flaxseed

  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil

  • 1/3 Cup Honey

  • 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup

  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed

  • 2 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt

Optional Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Raisins

  • 3/4 Cup Dried Cherries

  • 3/4 Cup Dried Blueberries

  • 3/4 Cup Dried Cranberries

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil (or parchment paper).
2.  In a large bowl, stir together the rolled oats, almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed.
3.  In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the vegetable oil, honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt.  Bring to a light boil, then remove from heat.

4.  Pour hot oil/syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
5.  Spread half the oat mixture onto each baking sheet and spread evenly.  Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once half-way through the cooking time (tip: the darker you let the granola get, the crispier it will be, so you can alter the cooking time according to your preferences).
6.  Remove from oven and cool.  Optional: If you're adding in the fruit, sprinkle half of the fruit onto each baking sheet and stir to combine.  Spread the mixture back out on the baking sheet and allow to cool.
7.  Stir again once cooled to break up any large clumps.

Store in airtight containers in your pantry or in containers/freezer bags in your refrigerator to keep it fresher longer.


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