Thursday, January 19, 2012

Homemade Granola

Have you ever made homemade granola before?  Sooooo healthy and delicious, and overall, very cost-friendly if you buy a lot of granola-types of cereal.  I've been making this granola for a while now and have tweaked the recipe just to our liking.  That said, I never seem to make it the same way twice!  I originally found the recipe here, but, as with many recipes, I just modify it to what I have in the pantry and what flavors I'm in the mood for.

It's delicious layered with vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit in a parfait, or with milk poured over it as a breakfast cereal.  It's also yummy by the handful as a snack!  

Here is my recipe, with it's tweaks.  :)

8 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1 1/2 cups oat bran
3/4 cup flax seed
1 cup sunflower seed
1 cup pepitas (dried pumpkin seeds)
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 cup pecan halves or pieces
1 cup walnuts pieces
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup honey
1 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups sweetened dried cranberries (or other dried fruits)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, flax seed, sunflower seed, pepitas, almonds, and pecans. In a medium saucepan, stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla and almond extract. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 30 minutes.  Halfway through cooking (15 minutes), remove baking sheets from the oven, stir the granola, and swap places in the oven.  (In other words,  the baking sheet that was on the top rack moves to the bottom rack, and vice versa.)  Remove baking sheets from oven and cool.  Stir in the cranberries or other dried fruit before storing in an airtight container.


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