I love quick and easy foods. I’d MUCH rather just head to the store and buy something… instead of making it. I’m just not into cooking. Since I’ve had my kiddo I’ve been looking at the ingredients on all those foods I thought were healthy for me, when they’re really not. I cannot pronounce half of the ingredients on most packaged foods out there. PLUS, the majority have corn syrup or sugar added. I prefer to save my sugar intake for when I’m eating pie, chocolate, or cookies.
This brings me to snack time for the kiddo. She’s started preschool this year and can’t bring peanut butter to class (she pretty much LIVES on pb at home). We tried store bought almond butter, she doesn’t like it (I’ll have to make my own, maybe add a touch of honey). I wanted to send her with some sort of snack that had protein and no refined sugars. I googled, I experimented, and finally came up with a granola recipe she loves and I’m comfortable and happy to give to my daughter.
Homemade Granola (with no refined sugars)
– 7 cups old fashioned oats
– 1 1/2 cups of slivered almonds (optional: food processor them for less crunch)
– 1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds (optional: food processor them for less crunch)
– 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
– 3 Tablespoons of cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
– 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
– 3 tablespoons pure vanilla (check the ingredients, most vanilla has corn syrup added…)
– 1 1/2 cups of no sugar added applesauce
– 1/4 cup honey
– Set your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend. You wont the granola just barely moist. Add a bit of applesauce if it seems too dry (blend really well, get the wet ingredients mixed in well).
Place the granola in a 1/2 inch thick layer on 2 cookie pans (make sure the pans have sides, so the granola doesn’t slide off). Bake the granola in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes. Mixing up the granola blend every ten minutes. This will help the granola to cook evenly, and hopefully not burn. The outer pieces of granola will probably cook faster. This recipe made enough to fill two 24 ounce jars and one 12 ounce jar.
When you’re done, let the granola cool and then store in your favorite jar! OR, give these away as gifts for your buddies. You can also add raisins or other dried fruits to the mix, after it’s done cooking. My kid likes raisins and banana chips in the granola.
SO, my kiddo doesn’t like the big giant pieces of almonds and sunflower seeds (she’d eat around them). That’s why I like to process the nuts into small tiny pieces (just a bit smaller than the oats). She doesn’t even know she’s eating them…. bwa ha ha ha <——–evil laugh.
I’ve been eating this pretty much every morning with breakfast. I mix half plain yogurt and half applesauce…. and put a TON of granola in there. So yum.
UPDATE 12.2013: if you like your granola a little sweeter/crunchy… follow the recipe above then add 1 – 3 tablespoons of honey (blend really well). Bake on cookie sheets at 200 for 15 – 25 minutes (mixing granola every 10 minutes). Let cool. Done!