I’m one who loves granola and all it’s delicious varieties. If there is one thing I don’t like about many of the granola recipes out there, it is the use of oil in the granola coating. If I’m trying to create healthy food I can to start my day with, why would I pour a 1/2 cup of oil over the top (granted, I obviously wouldn’t eat the whole batch in one sitting, but it would still amount to about 1 Tbsp of oil in each serving which would be 100 calories of fat…and I save my fat calories for dessert at the finish of my dinner meal =). I haven’t made a homemade granola for a few years actually because I’ve been turned away from it due to that extra fat. I also don’t like my granola to have a ridiculous amount of fillers. Yes many of the fillers that are added to granola are indeed healthy, but they also pack in calories. So, I decided to try a new granola route without using oil and keeping it simple. My first attempt I tried applesauce and I wasn’t able to achieve the crunch I wanted. This time around I used just the sweeteners without oil, and instead with a bit of water and boiled it in a saucepan before pouring it over the oat mixture. I know there are going to be some people out there that are going to say this recipe isn’t healthy because it has sugar in it, but to that I say the sugar is for my emotional health =). If I made a granola with no sugar or an artificial sweetener I’d rather not eat it and just have toast. This granola isn’t overly sweet I think 1/2 cup of sugar is not to0 much but also not too little. This is something I can be happy to start my day with and also something I can feel good about serving to my kids for breakfast (not to mention, we all love it!). Munch on this for a crunchy, lightly sweet midday snack or pour it into a bowl along with some creamy almond milk (my favorite) or another delicious way to serve it up is in a parfait with fresh fruit (leaving out the dry fruit) along with Greek yogurt. Yum, yum, yum! Enjoy!
- 4 cups whole oats (DON'T use quick oats)
- 1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup dried berries such as blueberries, cranberries, or raisins*, optional
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, toss together oats and sliced almonds, set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, honey, water, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, bring mixture to a boil stirring frequently. Once mixture reaches a boil, allow to boil for 1 minute whisking constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and baking soda and whisk until mixture is foamy, about 10 seconds. Carefully pour hot sugar mixture over oat mixture and toss to evenly coat. Spread mixture into an even layer on a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven, about 36 - 40 minutes until golden brown, removing from oven and tossing twice during baking (when tossing, I tossed the oat mixture near the edges into the center and spread the mixture in the center out to the edges for more even cooking). Remove from oven, toss in dried fruit and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container (note that granola wont be crisp until cooled).
- *I used half dried cranberries and half raisins. I just tried the Craisins infused with cherry juice in this recipe, I would highly recommend them. They are delicious and taste like a cranberry+ a cherry in one. I haven't tried the pomegranate or blueberry versions yet but I'm guessing those are also delicious.
- Recipe Source: Cooking Classy