Basic Granola

Surprisingly, I have never made my own granola before. There are SO many great brands out there these days that I really like (Early Bird made in Brooklyn, NY is my jam!), so I never really had the urge to try it until recently. I had literally all of the ingredients in my pantry, so I decided to give it a try, and I am so happy that I did! So happy in fact, that since last Wednesday I’ve made it 3 times! Here are my top 3 reasons to make your own granola:

  1. You can control exactly how much sugar and fat to put in. And as much as I love other brands, sometimes I wish it wasn’t as sweet, or as coconutty (I know that’s not a real word), or didn’t have walnuts (don’t like them)…the list goes on.
  2. It makes your house/apartment smell AMAZING
  3. You can add anything extra to this recipe and empty out your pantry!
  4. Bonus reason- it makes a fun holiday gift! Put some in a small mason jar and tie a bow around it! Its healthy, yummy, easy, different, more yummy…

I made my granola with shredded coconut, golden raisins, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, and sunflower seeds, but you can add any combination of nuts and seeds and dried fruit that you want. Just make sure that they are RAW! If the nuts or seeds are already roasted, they will burn in the oven and your granola will become bitter. You can also play around with the ratio of sweeteners or types of sweeteners that you use. The first time I used more molasses than the second time- I decided I wanted a more mild flavor- but you can switch the ratios around, or use less, or add maple syrup instead of honey or molasses. Basically, you can’t really screw this up UNLESS, you don’t pay attention while its in the oven, and don’t use raw ingredients. So, here is my recipe. Enjoy!

Basic Granola

Yield: 2 Qts | Bake Time: 45 mins | Oven Temp: 300 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups rolled oats (Gluten Free if you have a gluten sensitivity)
  • 1/2 Cup shredded coconut, UNSWEETENED
  • 1/2 Cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 Cup sunflower seeds, raw
  • 1/3 Cup sliced almonds, raw
  • 1/3 Cup pumpkin seeds, raw
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl (everything up to the coconut oil) and toss them together with your hands. img_1722-1
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the coconut oil, honey and molasses, and heat in microwave until the coconut oil has melted- do it in 15 second increments. If you don’t have a microwave, you can do this in a small saucepan on the stove- just be very careful that it doesn’t burn. You really are just melting the coconut oil and making the honey and molasses less sticky and easier to mix with the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the vanilla to the oil and honey mixture once it is out of the microwave, stir, and pour into the oat mixture.
  5. Mix with a spatula until all of the oats are coated.
  6. Spread out onto the lined baking sheet, and place in the center of your oven in the middle rack.
  7. Here is the most important step- STIR granola with spatula every 15-20 minutes. This is super important so the edges don’t burn. You don’t have to go crazy with this, just push the edges towards the middle with your spatula, and the middle towards the edges, and pop right back into the oven.
  8. You will know that it is done by the change in color, the raisins will puff up to the size of grapes, and the smell! Don’t neglect your sense of smell to tell you when something is ready to come out of the oven! Try to pay attention to that! Here’s a before and after shot of the granola:img_1734
  9. When it comes out, mix it one last time and let cool before putting it into a jar. It will last probably up to two weeks in a sealed container- but I’m sure you will eat it all way before then! Hence, why I’ve made it 3 times in less than a week… I have issues!

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