We go through quite a bit of granola in our house. Hubby always has a small bowl as a mid-morning snack while at work, and I love to add a little to my chia seed pudding (see my post of February 21, 2016 for that recipe) and other snacks that I want to add a little extra substance and crunch to. For years, until I learned how to properly read ingredient labels, I bought a popular brand of granola that really didn't do much for my family other than add extra sugar, GMO's and toxic preservatives to our system. Now I understand how incredibly easy it is to whip up a batch of my own granola and fuel my family's bodies with wholesome nutrient-packed goodness with the added bonus of it containing a big dose of Vitamin L....Love. Awwwwww......
This granola is packed with protein, Omega-3 fatty acids which are so important for every cell membrane in our body (especially our heart and brain!), good saturated fat, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, fiber and more. I promise you that you'll never go back to mass-produced granola after you've whipped up a batch of this sweet and crunchy goodness.
Let's get to it....
What You'll Need
Now this list may seem a little long, but fret not! Many of these items are likely staples in your pantry already so you will likely only need to scoot out to the market for one or two items!
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp pure maple syrup (DO NOT USE THAT AUNT JEMIMA NONSENSE!!)
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup raw pecans, chopped
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
You can play around with these ingredients. Have fun with it! I don't always make this the exact same way every time. Chopped dates are also a wonderful addition. If you need a gluten-free granola, just substitute the oats for a gluten-free version. You can add any dried fruit that suits your taste buds. I just happen to love my raisins and dried cranberries.
How to Prepare
My friends, it can't get any easier than this! Heck, driving to the store to buy a box of pre-packaged granola takes more effort!!
Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a small bowl, mix the coconut oil, maple syrup, apple juice and vanilla.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, nuts, seeds, raisins, dried cranberries and coconut. Then, add the coconut oil mixture and toss to make sure everything is coated.
NOTE: You can leave the raisins and dried cranberries (dates, other dried fruit, etc.) out until after the granola has cooked if you want. I just prefer them this way.
Next, spread the mixture evenly across a baking sheet. If you use a metal sheet, I would recommend lining it with some parchment paper to keep the mixture from sticking.
Cook until golden and slightly crispy ~ approximately 25 minutes or so. Stir frequently to ensure the granola gets cooked through evenly.
Let the granola cool and then store in a glass airtight container in the cupboard. The granola will keep for months but I'm pretty sure it won't last that long (wink wink).
Enjoy this granola with your favourite nut milk or with your favourite non-diary yogurt with fresh fruit. Anywhere, any time, this is a perfect way to add some blissful giddy-up to your busy day!
Jill Taylor is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist based in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of two pretty awesome teenagers, s very dramatic dog, a hedgehog and a snake (yikes!). Jill assists her clients in achieving true wellness through thoughtful and compassionate dietary and lifestyle coaching. Feel free to visit the "Contact" page to get in touch. Jill would love to hear from you!