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Healthy & Homemade: Crunchy Walnut Granola

Planning ahead to have healthy breakfasts and snacks on hand always makes it easier to eat well, and resort to convenience foods less often. This crunchy granola is a cinch to make and will last several weeks in an airtight container. It’s perfect to stash in a jar on the countertop for quick snacks, or to pack in small containers or zip-lock bags to grab and go, or pack to take swimming, camping or hiking. My favourite way to eat it is layered with cool yogurt and fresh berries in season, on the porch, in my flip-flops.

Of course granola can always be customized to use any combination of fruit and nuts you like – I always load mine with crunchy walnuts, which are high in fiber and protein as well as heart-healthy fats and vitamin E. If your walnuts are bitter, they aren’t fresh – a good batch should be nutty and sweet.

Crunchy Walnut Granola

4 cups quick cooking (not instant) rolled oats
1 cup natural wheat bran
1-1/2 cups chopped California walnuts (or pieces)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup liquid honey
1/4 cup sunflower or canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups raisins (or dried cranberries, chopped dried apples, apricots or other mixed dried fruit)

In a large bowl stir together oatmeal, bran, walnuts and sesame seeds. In small microwaveable bowl, combine honey, oil and vanilla; microwave on High for about 20 seconds or until more runny. Stir to mix; pour over dry ingredients and toss to coat well.

Spread evenly in large shallow baking pan and bake in 300ºF (150ºC) oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden, stirring two or three times. Cool completely; it will crisp as it cools. Stir in raisins; store in airtight container.

Makes about 8 cups (2 L).

Source: walnutinfo.com

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