Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Homemade Organic Granola

After all these cookie posts...I decided it was time to make something a little more on the healthy side. With  bathing suit season around the corner, I figured you guys might like something that's still delicious but easy on the waistline as well. You will have NO idea that this granola is even healthy. I made 2 batches yesterday and there both already gone. Of course I did package some to gift for friends, but lets be honest I'm the main culprit here. I've been snacking on this all day, and its gotten better with every bite. Add any dried fruit or nut you'd like, the possibilities are endless! Whether plain, on top of yogurt, or paired with milk for a delicious cereal change, this stuff is just plain grrrrrreat! ;)

Homemade Organic Granola
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
(with my personal changes)

2 cups organic rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 whole vanilla bean, split (you can use 1 tsp. of vanilla extract as well)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped  

1/3 cup golden raisins &  dried cranberries
1/4 cup black mission figs chopped
1 tbsp. candied ginger chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use silicone mat.

In a large bowl, toss the oats with cinnamon and salt.

In a medium bowl, or measuring cup,  stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Pop in microwave for 30 seconds to melt the brown sugar, stir. 

Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine them.  Stir well until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the almonds, walnuts, and pecans over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven. ( the granola will look and feel "
wet," this is how it is supposed to be, even after the full baking time it still will feel a bit wet, when you cool it on the baking sheet it will harden I promise) :)

Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Return the baking sheet to the oven.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool completely. Sprinkle the raisins and cherries over the granola and use your hands to transfer it to an airtight container. 

The granola will keep for 1 week. 

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