Crunchy Granola

Granola is one of those foods with a highly debatable health factor.

Commercial granola completely misses the point. Laden with ingredients such as shortening, vegetable oil and corn syrup solids, it seeks to try to pull a fast one on unsuspecting consumers who are trying to eat better. Thanks, giant corporations, but I’ll get my junk food elsewhere.

Such as at the pub. By ordering french fries at the pub, you willfully enter into an unhealthy exchange with the crispy little buggars.

Sure you’re eating potatoes but they can’t count as part of your daily serving of vegetables. The oil that’s been in the deep fryer for ten years isn’t included in the list of healthy oils you’re supposed to ingest daily.

The same unhealthy ingredients shouldn’t be hidden in your morning bowl of granola.

Granola and french fries are not the same.

Now, Artisanal granola can be tasty and often has healthy ingredients. But it’s expensive and seems to always come in teeny tiny little bags.

So what’s a granola loving girl to do?

Well….make it.

So that’s what I do.

I’ve been making this recipe for a couple of years. It’s simple, quick, cheap and enormously satisfying. And it’s so delicious that I even caught my toddler pretending to eat it the other day.

This is the standard version of the recipe. It’s incredibly versatile. I happily substitute or omit unessential ingredients if they’re not in my pantry. (Wheat germ is something that I always forget to buy so it’s not often found in my granola. Oops)

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups (organic) rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 cups oat bran
  • 1 cup (unsalted) sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Optional:

  • 2 cups raisins or cranberries

Method:

  • Pre heat oven to 325°C (190°F), line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  • Chop nuts
  • Combine oats, nuts, wheat germ, bran in a large mixing bowl
  • Combine salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon and vanilla in small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat
  • Pour over dry ingredients and stir to coat.
  • Spread mixture evenly on baking sheets
  • Cook for 20 minutes, stirring half way through
  • Allow to cool but not harden
  • Stir in optional raisins or cranberries.

Variations to consider:

  • Adding uncooked quinoa
  • Substituting or omitting any of the nuts
  • Using different oils (peanut, avocado, etc.) and making different combinations to change the flavour
  • Reducing the amount of brown sugar, honey and maple syrup for a less sweet flavour.

*Savings tips: health food stores seem to sell organic rolled oats much cheaper than grocery stores

This granola is lovely with a cup of almond beverage, warmed applesauce or french fries. Just kidding; save those for an over-indulgent meal the pub.

Happy breakfast,

Jill

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