I have officially ended my relationship with boxed cereal.
For years, I've been underwhelmed with the cereal options on the store shelves. Then I discovered the joy of granola. But alas, even the best store-bought granola had its shortcomings - it was pricey, not very fresh, and contained lots of preservatives.
Thus began my personal quest to make homemade granola. After looking at several different recipes, I realized that there are endless ways to customize granola, according to personal taste. I tried multiple variations, which were all tested by my husband, a granola junkie. After a few rounds of tinkering, I believe that I finally created a recipe worth keeping.
This granola recipe is a truly amazing blend of sweet, salty, and crunchy. It is packed with good things like protein, fiber, vitamin E and folate. And it makes the house smell wonderful, and has made breakfast in our house a delight. It perfectly captures the essence of "homemade" at its best.
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup almonds, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon almond extract
2 cups dried fruit (cherries, raisins, cranberries, apricots, etc.)
Preheat oven to 275. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the dried fruit. Stir well to incorporate. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir in dried fruit, and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove from oven, and cool completely in pan. Once the granola is cool, store in an airtight container.