Sunday, September 23, 2012

Easy Granola Recipe

Finding cereal that isn't all hopped up on artificial flavors and colors is not an easy task. Few things make me crazier than seeing a box of cereal (or anything, really) that says "Strawberry flavored". We are big cereal eaters around here, so finding a healthy but tasty option is really important. I don't know about you, but I can only stand brown rice puffed cereal for so long. I refuse to pay $5 for a small 3 cup bag of packaged granola, so I decided to bring out a recipe I used to make often.

Easy Granola Cereal
Makes 10 cups

What I use:
  • 7 c. quick oats
  • 3 c. sliced almonds (or any combination of nuts and seeds - cashews or walnuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 stick of butter (no margarine please)
  • 3/4 c. raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
How I do it:

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, mix the oats, almonds, and pumpkin pie spice.

3. Melt the butter and honey together in a small pot.

4. Add the vanilla and turn the heat off.

5. Pour the honey-butter-vanilla mixture over the oats-almond-spice mixture and stir until
everything is evenly coated.

6. Spread the cereal onto 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper for easy clean-up.

7. Bake for 80 to 90 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your cereal to be. You don't have to stir it every 20 minutes, but I do it anyway. It will still seem soft, but it will harden as it cools.

8. Once it has cooled completely, break it up and transfer it to an airtight container.

Toss it in small bags for easy on-the-go snacking, pour milk on and have it for breakfast, or sprinkle it over some yogurt and berries.

If you want, you could also add 1 to 2 c. of  raisins to the cereal when it is finished. (I just throw 1/4 c. in my cereal bowl each time.)

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