I eat oatmeal almost every morning for breakfast, especially when it’s cold outside. In the warmer months, however, I’ll switch to a nice, light bowl of granola with yogurt, topped with a little fresh fruit. It’s equally nutritious, fulfilling, and super good.
If you like store bought granola, you’ll really like the homemade version. It’s easy to make, and generally calls for natural sweeteners instead of the processed stuff. It’s also flexible because you can swap in whichever dried fruits and nuts you like best. The recipe I love and use most often is inspired by several different recipes that I’ve encountered, such as this one.
Makes about 1.5 quarts.
• 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
• 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
• 1 cup sliced almonds
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
• 1/2 cup dried cherries
• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/2 cup dried dates, diced
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, mix together the old-fashioned rolled oats, coconut, cinnamon, and almond slices. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the oil and honey. Pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until all of the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Pour into a large (I used 13″ x 18″x 2″) baking dish and spread evenly.
Place the baking dish into the oven, on the middle rack, stirring every five-ten minutes until the mixture is golden brown (around 30 minutes). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Once cool, add the dried fruits and stir. Store in an airtight container.
Homemade granola makes a great gift because it can be prepared in big batches and stored for up to six months in the freezer. Here’s an idea: March is National Nutrition Month, so be a good influence, and give a sack of your homemade granola to your friends, family, and co-workers! And make sure to include a label with any necessary allergy-related information.