I was going to post this really great salad dressing today and I got on The Pioneer Woman's blog this morning and she posted salad dressing!!! Then I got on Tasty Kitchen and they had a salad dressing on their homepage, too! So in order to be as original as possible, I will save my dressing for another day and instead post a different healthful recipe. I don't want you all getting bored :)
I am still super excited about today's recipe. I got the idea from my mom, because she had homemade granola at her house when I was visiting over the holidays. Since I polished off all of her granola, I decided to make some of my own and try to decrease the sugar, fat and calories... 3 things that hide in so-called "healthy" granola. Many are well over 400 calories per cup!
This recipe makes about quart jar and a half; you can easily double the recipe if you end up liking it and want to keep more on hand for you and your family. Many granola recipes call for some funky ingredients, but this one is pretty simple and many of the items you may already have in your pantry. This recipe has been a hit with Greg (the hungry Lineman!), his mom, my mom and many more. It's definitely a keeper and "granola cruncher" approved!
I was lucky enough to take these photos in my Mom's kitchen that has wonderful lighting (with my new camera). Enjoy, because any upcoming posts will be back in the trailer, with not so great lighting!!
Can you tell yet that this post is a little unorganized? I forgot to take a photo of all the ingredients!
Here are the dry ingredients:
Oats (not the quick cooking kind)
Wheat Germ (could also use oat bran, ground flax, etc)
Chopped Pecans (feel free to use your fav nuts)
Craisins (or raisins)
Dried Apples (or any other dried fruit)
Add above dry ingredients to a large bowl.
Here are the wet ingredients:
Canola Oil **(optional, helps the "crunch" factor)
Put honey in medium sized microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds to liquify. This makes it easier to combine with other ingredients. Add applesauce, oil** and vanilla to warn honey and stir well.
Stir the dry ingredients thoroughly, so everything gets some cinnamon spice.
Add the wet ingredients to the big bowl of dry ingredients.
And stir that baby up really well. You want every single oat to have a little love on it from your wet ingredients. This will also help you achieve that "crunch" we associate with granola.
Hello Granola Crunchers!!!
Pour mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly.
(**If you haven't got a roll of parchment paper yet, DO IT! It's the best)
Place in preheated (325*) oven and bake for 15 minutes, then stir. Continue to bake another 20 minutes or until edges become golden brown. Once edges turn brown, it should be done. It may not feel "crunchy" yet, but this will happen upon cooling....but if you like really, really crunchy, allow it to cook a few more minutes.
You may need to bake an additional 5-10 minutes depending on your oven, placement of your oven racks and how "crunchy" you really like it. Mine took 25-30 minutes total.
***Be careful not to overcook though. Granola will go from perfectly golden brown, to over-done in a matter of minutes. So check it often towards the end of bake time.
There's those golden edges I'm talking about. It's done!
Oh and if you like clumpy granola, refrain from stirring during baking.
Allow to cool completely on baking sheet. Once cooled, your granola should be crunchy!!
I forgot to mention that while this is baking, your house will smell absolutely heavenly! Like the best apple-cinnamon scented candle or Scentsy that you've ever encountered!
I'm serious, it's ama--azing.
Make it before you have company. They will be captivated and thoroughly impressed!!!
Sprinkle over yogurt.
Have it with milk.
Put it in a baggie for a quick snack.
Put it in a mason jar on display.
Get crunching on this deliciousness!
xoxo -- "D-Trash"
3 cups oats
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. wheat germ
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1/2 c. craisins
1/2 c. dried apples (or other dried fruit)
2/3 c applesauce, unsweetened
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 TB canola oil**
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or nonstick cooking spray) and preheat oven 325*.
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl. Put honey in medium sized microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds to liquify. Add applesauce and vanilla to warn honey and stir well. Add wet ingredients to the large bowl and stir until all dry ingredients are coated.
Pour mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes; stir. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes and check again. Replace if edges haven't turned brown yet, checking avery few minutes. Once edges turn golden brown, it's done. Granola firms (gets crunchy) upon cooling. Allow to cool on baking sheet then pour into airtight container for storage.
(This recipe is roughly derived from this recipe on Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body blog)
**You aren't imagining it, I added a TB of oil to this recipe. It seems to turn out even better. But if you are going for "lowfat" feel free to leave this out.