Sunday, February 12, 2012

Homemade Granola

Over the last year, I have worked on becoming a meal/menu planner for our family. I plan a menu bi-weekly, look for coupons and discounts and then head to the store. It has been a great way to add variety to our meals, save money and be organized. (who wants to think about what to cook when you get home from work?!) One area I have struggled in was coming up with healthy, inexpensive and quick breakfast ideas. Add needing to be gluten-free in the mix and it becomes a real challenge!
I was scouring through my cookbook, 1000 Gluten Free Recipes, and found this gem for homemade granola. It is simple, made with natural ingredients, and you can custom tailor it to your preference. I had to share!

In a large bowl mix:
2 cups rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup assorted nuts/seeds (I used equal parts almonds, walnuts, pecans and pepitas. You could used sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. too!)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl combine and stir until honey is dissolved:
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup very hot water
1/4 cup canola coil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pour over dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes and stir. Bake another 15 minutes and stir again. Continue baking in 10 minute increments until granola is browned to the desired degree. Cook in the pan for 20 minutes on a wire rack.

Stir in:
1/2 cup nuts ( I used almonds and walnuts)
3/4 cup dried fruit (I used equal parts golden raisins, craisins and dried currants. You could use dark raisins, dried bananas, apricots, etc.)

Refrigerate up to 2 weeks and enjoy!

We have been enjoying this EVERY morning with fat free yogurt and blueberries. In fact, a batch is in the oven right now! Yum!

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