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Granola: Not Just for Hippies Anymore!

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homemade granolaGranola has a weird history. First, it was invented in a sanitarium. Then it got popular. Then people kind of forgot about it. Then hippies brought it back. Then I was born and ate a bunch of it, and that brings us up to the present day more or less. It was originally invented as a health food and that’s also why hippies brought it back, but the store-bought variety can have a shocking amount of sugar in it.

That’s why it’s nice to make your own. You can control what you’re putting into it. This one is still sweet because of the honey, but it’s not a total sugarfest.This recipe makes a large batch that’s satisfying and wholesome. It has crunchy bites of toasted oats, a hint of spice, and the toothsome texture of the coconut. All in all, a great way to start your morning off right.

Since I am allergic to nuts, all of my recipes are nut free. If you are not plagued with a nut allergy feel free to sub in almonds, pine nuts, or another beloved nut. On the other hand, coconut is also a nut, and right now it’s the only one I’m not allergic to. If you’re allergic to coconut, by all means, leave it out.

Homemade Spiced Granola

4 tablespoons coconut oil (another neutral oil will do)
5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lightly chop the pumpkin seeds–be careful, because seeds will go flying a bit. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt. Add the oil, and stir well. Then pour in the honey and stir. Spoon the granola out on to two cookie sheets and bake in the oven for 35 minutes, until everything is just light golden. Stir the granola n turn the pan every 10 minutes so it cooks evenly. When there are 20 minutes left, divide the coconut, sesame seeds, and flax seeds evenly between the two cookie sheets, and stir in. Cook for the remaining 20 minutes.

Remove the granola form the oven and set aside to cool. Stir the granola right away, and then in another 5 minutes so it doesn’t stick together. When it has cooled carefully spoon it into an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator.

Serve with milk and apples slices, or however you like your granola best.

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