Breakfast is hard. I wake up to cranky kids who are starving and needtoeatrightnow and while I’m still rubbing sleep out of my eyes, they’re digging through cupboards and probably fighting over that last ounce of $4 chocolate bar I was saving for my next emotional crisis.
Enter: This granola.
I’ve tweaked two of my favorite recipes (one utterly caloric and delicious, the other uber nutritious but less yummy) to make one fantastically healthy and delectable breakfast that every last one of my children begs for.
The magic of making your own granola is that you have ultimate creative license. Hate almonds? Use pecans. Coconut allergy? Skip it. Totally up to you and your tastebuds. Go create your own concoction and have fun messing with it!
This recipe makes a pretty large batch (about 11 cups). It lasts our family (of 7 people with molars) about a week if I patrol the pantry and don’t allow it for snacks. Excepting myself, of course. I’m kind of a hypocrite like that.
Best Granola on the Planet
7 c rolled oats (not quick)
4 c nuts and seeds (I like sunflower seeds, pepitas, chopped pecans, almonds and hazelnuts in any combination! I also love shredded unsweetened coconut)
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom (optional)
1/2 c honey
1/2 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c coconut oil*
1/2 c water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c dried fruit, such as blueberries, cherries, raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix dry ingredients together well in a large mixing bowl (oats through spices). Add sweeteners, oil and vanilla. If honey is very thick or oil is solid, heat briefly on the stovetop or in the microwave until pourable. Mix all ingredients together well. Line 2 rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners (very important! Otherwise you’ll be scraping sticky oats off those pans until the end of the world) and spread granola equally on both pans.
Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch carefully towards the end as honey tends to brown rather quickly. Remove when golden brown and fragrant. Let cool completely and add your choice of dried fruit, if desired. Stored in airtight containers, it keeps for about 2 weeks, although it’s never lasted that long at our house!
* You can also substitute with olive oil which, suprisingly, is pretty fantastic. There is some concern about baking with olive oil and the release of free radicals, FYI, which is why I use coconut.
We love this as cereal with almond or rice milk but it’s also divine on Greek yogurt with honey. I even snack on it plain with my favorite dried fruit!