Groovy-licious Granola

I’m a cereal-for-breakfast kind of girl.  Always have been.  Back in the days of flower power, peace and love, granola was the breakfast and snack food of hippies.  Whether you’re an old hippie like me or not, you’ll love the crunchy yumminess of this granola.  It’s a house favorite here–Mr16 has always preferred it over any other cereal, which is going a ways when the competition has colorful packaging, a surprise inside and lots of sugar!

I buy most of my ingredients in bulk at Natural Grocers and keep what I don’t use for a batch in their original bags in a larger bag in the fridge.  That way, anytime I want to make granola, I just grab the bag and all of my ingredients are at the ready!

Here’s what you’ll need for the basic recipe.  If you have nut allergies, leave them out or substitute nuts you can have.  Once you have the technique for making granola, the recipe is super flexible.

  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats–NOT quick cooking
  • 1 cup walnut pieces–I’ve used pecans instead during the holidays, or when I get a fresh shipment of pecans from my mom–yummy!
  • 1 cup coconut shreds–I like to use the big coconut shreds, rather than the grated coconut because I like the texture better.
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds aka pepitas–I use raw seeds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds–I use roasted, salted for a bit of salt flavor
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 cup raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Oil a roasting pan.

Mix seeds, nuts, rolled oats, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.  Stir to combine.

Handy tip for measuring honey: Use a measuring cup thingie that allows you to push whatever you’re measuring out of the cup, and spray the bottom with cooking spray, and the honey doesn’t stick to the bottom!  This is one from Pampered Chef.  I use it for molasses, peanut butter and other sticky stuff!

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine honey and coconut oil.  Stir occasionally and watch continually.  You want the mixture to come to a full boil.  Once it does, it will look frothy all over and climb the sides of the pan very quickly and spill out all over your stove creating a HUGE mess.  Avoid this (unless you like cleaning your stove!) by watching for the signs that it is coming to a boil along the edges of the pan, and be ready to remove it from the heat source quickly.

Remove from heat and add vanilla, almond extract and orange extract.  Stir and pour over the dry ingredients.

Stir to evenly coat all of those cute little seeds and nuts and oats.  Spread the mixture in an oiled roasting pan or 9×13 cake pan.  I like the roasting pan–it’s a bit bigger, and still has high sides–letting me spread the granola out a bit more for more even browning and easy stirring as it bakes.

Bake for a total of 30 minutes at 300 degrees.  Stir the granola every 10 minutes during the baking time to keep it browning evenly.  While it cools, continue to stir every 10 minutes.  If you don’t, you’ll have a granola brick that is very difficult to get out of the pan and even more difficult to pour into a cereal bowl!  Store in an air-tight container–such as those Tupperware containers that are the same size and shape as a cereal box and have a pouring “spout.”  I like to leave some of the granola in clusters–easier to snack on!  (While inside the air-tight container, the granola will still try to become one big piece of granola–just give it a good shake and it will break up enough for pouring into your bowl.)

Serve this yummy granola in a bowl with milk (I like almond milk–yum!). 

Add your favorite fruit if you like.  Groovy-licious Granola is also yummy served parfait-style with yogurt and fruit or just by the handful as a snack–a great trail mix!

During the holidays, besides substituting pecans for walnuts, I added 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and substituted molasses for half of the honey and ended up with a gingerbread-ish granola!  Fun and yummy!  Experiment with nuts, seeds,  spices and extracts to make the granola that fits YOUR family’s tastes.

Look what I learned to do with WordPress this week–a slide show!  Now you can watch the recipe happen in short-order!

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One response to “Groovy-licious Granola

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