Friday, March 21, 2014

DIY Mixes ~ Granola

One of my favorite things now is to find semi-healthy, delicious snacks for the kiddos and I to eat.  Otherwise we would pig out on junk food all day long in the summer.  I ran across a recipe for granola last year that was good, but wasn't great.  After messing around with that recipe, adding and subtracting, changing amounts, etc. I have come up with a recipe that is better suited for the littles and me.  

My personal fave is throwing in dried cranberries and chocolate chips (but not icky dark chocolate, ugh!!).  Dried blueberries, strawberries, or cherries or golden raisins would be great too.  Flax seed is a strange little thing.  However, it doesn't have a lot of flavor and is said to be very nutritious.  You can buy it at Dutch stores, like Shirk's or at the one in Tipton.  They probably have it up north in Jamesport.  Or you can get it online at Amazon or in health food stores.  Flax seed has been studied and preliminary reports say that flax seed may help fight heart diseases, diabetes, and breast cancer.  Save the heart and the girls, you just can't beat that.

So here it recipe for granola.


5 c old fashioned oats
1/2 c sliced almonds (optional - I use them if I have them)
1/2 c sunflower seeds (optional - I use them if I have them)
1/2 c flax seed
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 t sea salt
2 t cinnamon
1/4 c coconut oil or butter, melted (I use coconut oil if I have it)
3/4 c applesauce (I use homemade)
1/2 c honey
1/4 c maple syrup
1 t vanilla
dried fruit and/or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray a baking sheet.  Mix first seven ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Melt your coconut oil or butter in a small bowl in the microwave.  Add the applesauce, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla, and mix.  Pour over the oat mixture and stir.  Spread out evenly onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Stir and bake an additional 15 minutes, until golden.  Pour cooked granola onto waxed paper and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.  Once cool, mix in the dried fruit or chocolate chips.  Store in an airtight container.

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