Vanilla Almond Granola

I have a confession...I'm not a cereal fan. I know I know, most people love cereal but I've just never been a big fan and honestly it's not good for you in the first place so I look at this as a wonderful thing; one less craving I need to fight. Something I do love, however, is granola and bonus is it's much better for your diet than traditional sugary, nutrition lacking cereals, if done right. Old-fashioned rolled oats are high in both protein and fiber so they are a great way to start your day! Granola can be eaten like cereal with some almond milk, added to trail mix, or used as a topper for plain yogurt (my favorite way to eat it). The problem about my love for granola is that most store-bought brands are loaded with added sugars and they tend to be pretty pricy. The good news is making you own is super easy! By making your own granola, you can save money and completely control the amount and quality of the sugar you are eating.

The recipe below is my absolute favorite flavor, vanilla almond. It's versatile, delicious, nutritious and easy. You can use this as your base recipe and experiment with different nuts and seed combinations or you can also lose the vanilla and add different spices to change-up the flavor. Whatever flavors you decide on the recipe works the same.

Start out by heating the oven to 300° F.

Then combine all of your dry ingredients, oats, almonds, salt, chia seeds, and ground flaxseed in a bowl. By adding chia seeds and flaxseed your getting extra protein, fiber, omega 3s, vitamins and minerals in your granola.  

Place the dry ingredients aside. Next you need to melt your coconut oil, if not already liquified. Add oil to a small sauce pan on low heat. Once melted add in maple syrup then turn off the burner. Finally, add in the vanilla and stir to combine. 

All that's left to do is pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. Make sure you stir well and everything get coated so it cooks evenly. 

Grab a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Pour the granola onto the pan and spread it out evenly. Pop the pan into the oven and set your time. This will need to cook for a minimum of 30 minutes but be sure to pull the pan out and mix it up after 15 minutes to help it bake evenly. If after 30 minutes you don't think it's quite done give it another 5-10 minutes but keep an eye on it. Once you see it turning brown it will probably taste burnt once it cools so do not worry if it doesn't look quite done when time's up. 

When it is cooked just pull it out and let it cool completely on the pan. FYI it gets crunchy as it cools. Once cooled and taste tested ;) store the granola in a jar or plastic container and it should keep well for about 3 weeks, if you can make it that long! 

Ingredients

  1. 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  2. 1 cup sliced almonds
  3. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  4. 3 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  5. 4 tbsp ground flax seed (optional)
  6. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  7. 1/4 cup maple syrup
  8. 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F degrees
  2. Combine oats, almonds, salt, chia seeds and flaxseed in a bowl, place to the side
  3. Melt coconut oil in saucepan over low heat
  4. Once melted add maple syrup
  5. Remove from heat and add the vanilla
  6. Pour wet ingredients onto dry ingredients and stir to combine
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread granola out on top
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes
  9. Let cool on pan and then store in an air tight container

Notes

  1. Be careful not to over bake! Once your granola starts looking crunchy it has probably started burning, even if it only looks golden brown. If unsure remove from oven after the initial 30 minutes and let it cool slightly. If its not crunchy enough after a few minutes pop it back in the oven to cook a little longer.

Now munch and enjoy!

What are your favorite granola flavors and combos?

 

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