Homemade Granola Goodness

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We eat a lot of granola at our house.  I usually buy the healthiest I can find at my local grocery store, but most of it has some form of processed sugar in it – even the “natural” brands – and it’s a bit expensive.  $3.50 for 8 oz.  So, after discovering my sweet husband had late night snacked away what I was saving for my breakfast this morning, I decided enough is enough.  I’m going to start making my own granola again.  It is a little time consuming, and I would much rather be in my quilting studio (okay, the spare bedroom with a few shelves and my sewing machine), but I splurged at my weekly trip to Natural Grocers this morning and bought the ingredients for homemade granola.  Its in the oven now and smells wonderful baking away with its orangey aroma.

I thought I would share my recipe just in case anyone else out there finds themselves in a granola dilemma.  A lot of this is just hit and miss on the amounts, so it may take some practice to achieve the consistency you like personally – dryer or stickier (my personal preference.)

HOMEMADE GRANOLA

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Combine the following:

2 lb. box or bag regular rolled oats (not quick cooking)

8 oz. unsweetened shredded coconut

16 oz. natural almonds (I use whole almonds)

6 oz. chopped pecans

3 oz. chopped walnuts

8 oz. bag natural dates (not sugar coated), chopped

6 oz. bag dried apricots (I used Sun Maid brand), chopped

1-1/4  cup or 1/2 box of Sun Maid Golden Raisins

approx. 1/2-3/4 cup Chia seeds

approx. 1/2 cup milled flax seed

Mix all this together really well in a really big bowl with a really big spoon!

Next  you will need your oil and sweetener.  I use organic extra virgin coconut oil.  You really must use the organic extra virgin kind to get quality coconut oil, only available as far as I know, at natural grocery stores such as Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Sprouts and health food stores. I haven’t found organic extra virgin coconut oil at my local run of the mill grocery store. If you can’t find good coconut oil, use organic light olive oil. If you use regular vegetable oil, you might as well just throw it all away, in my opinion. Coconut oil is SOOOOO much better for you. If you don’t believe me, check out Dr. Axe’s website.  But I digress.  Here is also where my approximations are really approximate.  I used two really heaping regular teaspoons (not measuring spoon teaspoons) of coconut oil and melted it in the microwave.  Stovetop melting is always better to maintain molecular consistency, but I was in a hurry.  So I’m going to call it:

1/2 cup melted Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Go ahead and mix that in the oats mixture from above.

Next you’ll need sweetener.  I use unprocessed honey.  I finished off a little that was in a jar of regular honey (about 1/4 cup), and then added my absolute favorite honey in all the world: Tangerine Honey from Walker’s Honey Farm Store.  There is a little store down in Rogers, Texas, where my sweet cousins live.  Every time I get to go for a visit, I stock up on Walker’s honey.  Its a family owned business that’s been around since my Mom was a girl.  I found it in the Natural Grocers in Temple, Texas, but I know you can order online.  This is where your stickiness preference comes into play.  I used 1/2 of a jar and would have used more, but it is my last jar and I must some to spoon with organic peanut butter for my midnight snack!  So I’m going to call it:

3/4-1 cup honey or more to taste

Start with less, you can always add more.

Mix the honey in well.  This is what mine looks like in the bowl.

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Now, you’re ready to bake it.  I spread mine out on cookie sheets, not too full.  Like this.

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This recipe makes about 5 cookie sheets worth, which is a LOT of granola.  So, feel free to half the recipe if you need to.  Now she tells us.

Bake in your preheated 250 degree for a total of 30 to 45 minutes.  BUT – and this is important – bake it in 15 minute increments – and give it a good stir after each 15 minutes.  My oven will hold two cookie sheets at a time, so I am looking at being tied to the house for a couple of hours to complete the baking, but it is so worth it.  Mix your granola, pop it in the oven, set the timer and go clean that bathroom!!!  Don’t forget to take the timer with you!  This is what mine looks like after 45 minutes.

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It tastes a little burned after 45 minutes in my oven.  Next time I will try just 30 minutes.  So, I will put this in a bowl to cool and then move to glass jars for storage.

Oops, forgot to set the timer. Be right back.  That could be disastrous with my gnat-like attention span.

Okay.  While I’m waiting for another 15 minutes to pass, let me tell you about another favorite stop down around Rogers.  (Rogers and Temple are just about 1 hour north of Austin if that helps).  I’m talking about Green’s Sausage House in Zabcikville, Texas, just about 14 miles from Temple on Highway 53.  The BEST homemade German sausage you have ever put in your mouth.  They take online orders, too.  Just saying.  They also make good kolaches.

Well, I guess that’s it for now.  I really should post stuff more often.  This is fun.

Keep it simple, ya’ll.