I think of granola as a classic health food. The tricky part: often times store bought varieties or homemade recipes don’t retain the health consciousness by adding high amounts of sugar and oil. Making your own gives you the control and I love the versatility because you can throw in about anything you like and it will work. Within reason of course (see recipe variations below).
The secret to keeping this granola in the healthy category is substituting applesauce for some of the oil. Along with the applesauce I added a smaller amount of oil, but substituted coconut oil for a more processed oil like vegetable. Coconut oil has recently become another health fad, but it’s benefits are not to be overlooked, ranging anywhere from skin to digestive improvements.
Great for breakfast, a snack or dessert. Add fresh fruit, almond milk, low fat yogurt, or leave the topping off a peach or blueberry crisp and sprinkle with granola after baking. I love cooking, but also like to be efficient in the kitchen. Making a large batch of something is a great way to use your time and ingredients wisely. I kept half, which was a large amount, in a container to crunch on myself and bagged up the other half for my neighbor who shares her garden produce with me (more on what I did with the basil she gave me next time).
Healthy. Easy. Delicious.
CINNAMON-RAISIN CRUNCHY GRANOLA
dairy free & gluten free option
makes about 12 cups
• 4 cups OATS, ROLLED*
• 2 cups PUFFED RICE CEREAL (or extra oats / other cereal)
• 1/4 cup FLAXSEED, GROUND
• 1 cup SHREDDED COCONUT, UNSWEETENED
• 3/4 cup MIXED NUTS (I used a mixture of whole almonds, chopped pecans & walnuts)
• 1 cup ALMONDS, slivered
• 1 tbsp CINNAMON, GROUND
• 1/4 tsp NUTMEG, GROUND
• 1/2 tsp SALT, SEA
• 1/3 cup COCONUT OIL, melted (or canola)
• 1 cup APPLESAUCE, UNSWEETENED, natural
• 1 tsp PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
• 2/3 cup 100% PURE MAPLE SYRUP or HONEY (more or less for desired sweetness)
• 1 1/2 cup RAISINS
*Gluten free option: Sub GF oats for regular (some gluten sensitive people cannot tolerate, so use accordingly).
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, puffed rice cereal, nuts, flaxseed, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a small bowl whisk oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and applesauce; pour over oat mixture and stir until well combined and coated.
3. Pour granola mixture onto prepared baking sheets and spread into one even layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy (watch closely not to burn). Spread baked granola on parchment paper to cool and sprinkle with raisins. Store in an airtight container. Makes 24 servings. Serving size about 1/2 cup.
VARIATIONS: Use dried cranberries, cherries or chopped apricots. Add any nut or seed like cashews, sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 200 calories, 10g fat, 4.5g sat fat, 60mg sodium, 27g carb, 3g fiber, 13g sugar, 4g protein