Saturday, March 17

Honey Maple Granola

This morning I whipped up a batch of granola; I'm always fooling around with ingredients in an effort to get something similar to the in-store granola at Costco.  It's usually slightly soft, kind of chewy and comes in big chunks that you break apart into whatever you're adding it to.  I think I hit a home run today and I'm hoping mine is a bit more healthy for you too!!

Giant granola chunks!!
Honey Maple Granola
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup natural wheat bran
1/2 cup golden yellow or brown sugar
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 cups chopped fruit & nut mix (I used the Kirkland Fruit & Nut mixture)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, bran, sugar, flax & sliced almonds. 

In a separate bowl, combine the oil, honey, maple syrup, vanilla and cinammon.  Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until the whole thing is moist and sticky.

Roughly chop your fruit and nut mixture (you could use whatever stuff your family likes here - raisins, dried coconut or bananas, apricots, whatever!!)  Stir that into the granola mixture and transfer to the baking sheet.

Bake in 15 minute incriments, "tilling" the granola in between timer going off.  Do this 3 times; total of 45 minutes for those of you who are not great at math.  Now there is some debate on whether or not to add the dried fruit into the mix before or after baking.  I think I always add it all together at the beginning, butI like the fruit kind of crunchy/chewy.  That said, do what you want, knowing that the fruit will "harden up" slightly.  Dealer's choice!!!

After you're done baking the granola, remove from the oven anyd let cool completely before breaking up into larger chunks.  Store in an air-tight container - this stuff will last for about a week this way (if it doesn't get eaten in 2 days!)

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