Friday, April 15, 2011

Crunchy Granola

Blog readers, I am back!!  Sorry it has been a busy, tiring week, and I have not been able to post as much as I would have liked.  I have some free time tonight so I hope to share a few of this weeks successful creations.

My 3 yr old son helped me with this delicious recipe.  I was inspired to do a tv-free day, so we did a lot together (cooking, cleaning, talking LOL).  It was nice and he LOVED being mama's big helper.  I have a chopper that he thoroughly enjoyed using to finely chop all the nuts.  He got so excited when I pulled the chopper out and he said "Yay, I get to chop, thank you for letting me do this, it is so special."  It was sooooo cute!!  It may take a little extra time to include your little ones while baking/cooking, but if I didn't let my Drew help, I would have missed that sweet moment.

I am a HUGE granola fan.  I have a hard time finding it without bad oils, and gluten free granola costs an arm and a leg.  So I decided to make my own.  It turned out AMAZING.  I hope you will try it, so easy to make and incredibly tasty.  I love to eat as cereal any time of the day, or sprinkled over yogurt.


3 1/2 cups gluten-free old fashioned oats ( or normal old-fashioned oats)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (Trader Joes has a 1 lb bag for 1.99 GREAT deal)
1 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup raw almonds

3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup rasins
1/2 cup dried cherries

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Toss oats with sunflower seeds, walnuts and almonds in a large bowl.  In a sauce pan bring the next 6 ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat & pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients in bowl, stir to coat completely.  Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet, bake for 15 minutes, stir, continue baking until oats start to turn golden.  Total baking time : 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven, immediately stir in dried fruit.  Allow to cool completely, then place in a zip-bag or container with a fitted lid.  Enjoy all week!

***Alternate, easier version: 3 1/2 old fashioned oats, 3/4 t salt, 3/4 agave, 1/2 cup grapeseed oil, 1/2 T cinnamon, 3/4 cup rasins, 1/2 cup chopped roasted nuts.  Same directions, just add the nuts and raisins after finished baking oats.  Crunchy, tastes just as good!***

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