Busy parents might not think of homemade granola as a convenience food. After all, there are countless brands of pre-made granola available in stores. But when it comes to granola, store-bought and homemade don’t have much in common. Store-bought granola often contains a surprising amount of sugar and other additives. When you make granola at home, you can go easy on the sugar and tailor your recipe to suit your family’s tastes. And, with a little Sunday night planning, you can have a container of granola ready to go for the busy week ahead.
When it comes to busy breakfasts, staples like granola and fresh fruit are great to have on hand. Versatile and nutritious milk is another essential kitchen staple — one that brings convenient, high-quality protein to the breakfast table day after day. A single 8-ounce serving of milk has 8 grams of protein, making it a wonderful addition to your family’s daily breakfast routine. Pair milk with the healthy fats and fiber in homemade granola, and you have a satisfying, nutrient-dense meal that will help growing kids make it through ’til lunch!
Homemade Granola with Dried Fruit
Makes: 1 1/2 quarts
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds
1 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
2 cups roughly chopped dried fruit (I used apricots, dates, and papaya spears)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
8 ounces low-fat milk (for serving)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, honey, cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt.
3. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, stir granola, and return to oven. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until oats and seeds are lightly toasted.
4. Remove baking sheet from the oven and stir in the dried fruit and sesame and chia seeds. Lower heat to 300 degrees F, and return baking sheet to oven for another 5-10 minutes. Mixture should be a light, golden brown — keep a close eye that your granola doesn’t overcook.
5. Remove from oven, stir well, and leave to cool. Once granola has cooled completely, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
6. To serve, pour milk over granola and add a sliced banana. Enjoy!