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Crunchy Granola

It’s no secret that I LOVE granola; It’s my go-to snack. It’s healthy and loaded with fiber which helps keep you feel full for longer. This healthier alternative to cereal can be taken on the go, topped on greek yogurt (my favorite!), or eaten with milk. There really is no wrong way to eat granola!

However, store-bought granola can be expensive. A small bag of granola easily ranges from $5-7. And because I go through granola like it’s nobody’s business, it’s just not in my budget to dish out so much money on this one snack. You’d be surprised to learn that some of your favorite brands pack their granola full of sugar and artificial sweeteners. Before you know it, that healthy snack has turned into a calorie dense, sugary dessert. By making your own granola, you are able to choose exactly what you put into it and you’ll also save yourself a lot of money. And I’m all about finding creative ways to save money. It’s a win – win situation, am I right?

My dad and I have been making our own granola for years now. It’s an activity that bonds us together and helps me temporarily forget about any stress or anxiety in my life. Being in my parent’s kitchen is probably one of my favorite places in the world. My dad is an incredible chef and is always creating something delicious. The smells that come out of his kitchen are to die-for. Especially the smell of granola as it’s baking – the sweetness wafts throughout the whole house and just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I definitely get my love of cooking and baking from him.

This recipe is the product of a lot of experimentation (and a handful of very burnt batches) but I think we’ve finally perfected it! I’ve been told this granola is some of the best and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

Homemade Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbls unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick coconut spray.

Mix the oats, cranberries, sliced almonds and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

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Combine the butter, brown sugar & honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter melts and the mixture begins to boil. Add the vanilla, stir and remove from heat.

Pour the sugar mixture over the oats and mix until all the oats are coated. Transfer to the baking sheet and spread oats evenly with a spatula.

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Bake until the oats are golden brown, about 15 minutes (time will vary depending on your oven). Then transfer to a rack and let cool.

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If this granola is too sweet, you can reduce the amount of brown sugar or cut out the brown sugar all together. Honey, by itself, is a great natural sweetener.

One of the reasons I love this recipe is because it makes for a great base. You can make this recipe your own by adding in your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Some of my favorite add-ins include flaked coconut, pecans and flaxseed. Trader Joes has a wonderful dried fruit mix that is just perfect for adding to your granola too.

How do you like your granola? I’d love to know!

Al

 

 

 

 

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