Happy Healthy Me
Snack Time: Try this recipe for homemade granola that isn't so Plain Jane
The term “granola” gets a bad rap. There’s granola meaning "hippie" and granola meaning "Plain Jane," like “that’s so granola.”
But this granola is none of that, although It's true that it can be indecisive. Is it crunchy or chewy? A crumble or a bar?
Granola also gets a bad rap because it’s rumored to be high in fat. It probably is if you buy it in a box at the grocery store. The boxed granola is likely to be filled with oils, along with ingredients made in a lab. That’s not good granola.
But this is.
Try this recipe for homemade, fruity, nutty, oat-y granola — and you won't go back.
Crunchy Fruity Granola:
This granola is great as a crunchy topping to yogurt, cottage cheese or oatmeal. Don't think it can be eaten in a quantity like cereal, because that’s probably not a good idea. This granola does take some willpower or portion control because dried fruits, syrup and nuts are a high sugar/fat combination. Don't put this in a plastic bag and leave it in your desk drawer to nibble throughout the day. Make it special when you eat it.
- 2.5 C old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 C almonds (about half each whole and slivered/sliced)
- 1/2 C pecans
- 2 T ground flax meal (optional, adding some fiber)
- 2 T sweetened coconut
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 C dried cranberries/craisins
- 1/3 C raisins
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 2 T applesauce
- 2 T smooth peanut butter
- 1/3 C brown sugar
- Bring to a boil the maple syrup, applesauce, peanut butter, brown sugar on the stovetop and let simmer for 8-10 minutes until thickened.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and add the wet to the dry.
- Pour on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake at 300* for 45 minutes, stirring every 12-15.
- Cool for 20 minutes before eating. If you can wait that long.
- Store in airtight container. Some people store in the refrigerator, but I do not.
No Bake Granola Bars:
Where the other granola is a great topping, this bar can stand alone in a bar shape. These bars have great staying power and have a strong peanut butter flavor. They are more chewy because they're not baked, but have a nice crunch from the puffed cereal. They are a great travel bar in your car, desk or on a plane.
- 1 3/4 C old fashioned oats
- 1 C puffed brown rice cereal (or any kind of puffed cereal)
- 1/4 C sunflower seeds
- 1/4 C each chopped dates
- 1/4 C dried cranberries/craisins
- 2 T ground flaxseed meal
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 C brown rice syrup
- 1/3 C creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and spices.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine vanilla, syrup and peanut butter. Microwave for 20-25 seconds until easier to stir.
- Once combined, add the wet to the dry and stir well. The liquid is very thick and sticky so work hard.
- In a square baking dish, pour mixture evenly and press down with back of spoon. Press it well because it’s not going to bake.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting.
- I flipped mine over to cut them very smoothly. Slice into squares or rectangular bars. Will make 12 bars or about 15 squares. I lined my baking dish with parchment paper to be sure it would come out.
- Keep refrigerated so the bars stay whole and don’t crumble. I individually wrapped mine in Saran Wrap.
For a few other granola based recipes and more pictures of the baking process, see these links.
- Homemade Granola (top recipe here)
- No Bake Granola Bars (bottom recipe here)
- Homemade Banana Nut Granola Bars
- Homemade Pumpkin Granola
Marci Gilbert writes a daily healthy living blog at www.marcigilbert.com.