Favorite Anytime Granola

Favorite Anytime Granola

After that loaded lasagna post I felt that I needed to follow-up with something healthy.   I’ve been thinking about McDonald’s fruit and yogurt parfaits which naturally leads me to think about that little dab of granola that they put on top.  Whenever I start thinking about a certain food I figure its my body’s way of telling me that there is something in that food that I need.  As I considered the fruit and yogurt and granola all having a party together, I realized that my body is screaming for me to feed it something that is nutrient dense. I could almost here it yelling, “Hey!  You’re killing me here, lady!  Give me the good stuff, or else…”

I have been using the Granola recipe from my mother in-law, Mavis, for a long time and find it to be the best one that I have ever tasted.  The only changes that I have made to it are to add flax seeds and cinnamon.  Seeeeee, I can keep up with current good-for-you-food-trends as well as the next person.  Flax seeds in granola are trendy, but they also happen to be healthy.

As per the flax seeds, sometimes I give them a whirl in my blender before I add them to the granola. You have to crack a flax seed to get to the healthy stuff.  Otherwise, guess what?  Whole flax seeds use your bowel as a slip n’ slide and go right on through to the outside.  (I’m a nurse; I talk about stuff like that and don’t even bat an eye.)  As for the cinnamon, besides making this granola taste heavenly it, too, has a few health benefits such as helping to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics.  But heck, that’s a story for another post.

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Best Everyday Granola

Yield: 10 cups

Recipe adapted by Terri @ that's some good cookin' from my mother in-law, Mavis

Ingredients

  • 6 cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup coconut
  • ¼ cup flax seeds, ground or whole (I used whole for this recipe)
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower kernels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (My favorites are pecans, almonds, and macademias. Sometimes I use all three, about 1/3 cup of each or sometimes a little more.)
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup salad oil (I used Canola oil. DO NOT use olive oil--bleh!)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract (I have also used almond flavoring. Yum!)
  • dried fruit, optional (added just before serving--do not add during baking, see note)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
  2. Mix oats, wheat germ, coconut, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower kernels, nuts and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  3. In a medium size bowl mix together the brown sugar, honey, oil, and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Divide between two 9? x 13? baking dishes or pans. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow granola to cool in pans. After the granola has cooled, using a pancake turner, gently slide the turner beneath the granola to break it up. Store in a zip-style plastic bag or other container of your choice.

Notes

A reader asked whether the pictured dried cranberries are added before or after baking. The answer is after baking. If you prefer to eat your granola with dried fruit, add the dried fruit just before serving. Baking the fruit with the granola will often cause the fruit to dry out or burn. I have found that adding the fruit just before serving keeps the fruit moist and fresh.

http://tsgcookin.com/2010/08/granola/

I like to eat a bowl of granola as a cold cereal with milk and dried cranberries sprinkled on top.  I have also used it to make granola bars, as a snack for plain ol’ munching, and in a fruit and yogurt parfait.  Life is good.  Oh, and when the Holidays roll around, try this Pumpkin Granola for a fun change of pace.

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Favorite Anytime Granola
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a big bowl.  I use my paws to give everything a quick mix.  In a small bowl, stir  together the oil, honey, and vanilla extract.  If the honey is a little too thick, warming it in the microwave makes it easier to mix with the oil.  Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients.
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Favorite Anytime Granola
Stir everything together.  This may take some effort, but do a good job with getting everything mixed well, okay?  You’ll be glad that you took the time to do things right.  Put the granola into two 9″ x 13″ baking pans.  Bake at 325-degree oven for 20 minutes on a middle rack.  Stir every 5-7 minutes.  The granola along the outsides of the pans cooks faster than the granola towards the middle, so don’t hold back on the mixing.  You want everything to be evenly cooked.
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Favorite Anytime Granola
Let the granola cool completely in the baking pans.  After it has cooled, it will need to be broken up.  Use a pancake turner to gently loosen the granola.  It breaks up quite easily.
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Favorite Anytime Granola
My favorite part is the “chunks”.  I just keep on eating them, one after the other.  I can’t make myself stop.  This stuff is addictive.
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Comments

  1. says

    i’m trying not to buy food that won’t be completely used in the next week. reading this blog makes it hard. question though: how would you make this a granola bar? do you have to use corn syrup? i’m morally opposed to corn syrup.

  2. n82 says

    I see in the picture you have cranberries added to your granola. Are they meant to be mixed in with the other dry ingredients or added after the baking process?

    Thanks!

  3. says

    I put them on after baking. The original recipe that I had, called for raisins to be put in the mix while it was baking. I found that the raisins would burn when I baked them with the granola, so I stopped. I also tried mixing the raisins into the granola after it was baked, but I found that the raisins dried out too much. So, I chose to leave the granola and the raisins or other dried fruit separate from each other until the granola was ready to be eaten.

    Raisins used to be standard in granola because few other dried fruits were available. Now we have the luxury of having many different dried fruits which we can toss onto the granola. My personal favorite is dried cranberries followed closely by dried cherries. Guess I like tart things!

  4. ashlee harrison says

    Tricia told me about your blog, I love it! I made this granola the other day and it is a big hit. My 2 yr old could munch on it all day (as could I). Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Ashlee! Thanks for dropping by. It’s good to hear from you. Tricia’s going through a granola phase in her pregnancy right now, so she would probably steal it right out of your 2 year old’s hands at this point! Have a great day. ~Terri

  5. Carol says

    Hi Terri…I made this granola last week and man oh man is it delicious. I made a breakfast parfait with some of it sprinkled over Greek yogurt and fresh berries….breakfast never tasted so good. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe,

    Carol

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