After you mix up this eggless, customizable recipe, you'll never buy another box of mass produced cereal again! ALLERGY TIP: When researching granola recipes and ingredient lists, I was surprised to learn that many recipes and most store bought brands include egg whites. When developing the Here We Are recipe, I tested several versions with and without egg whites and discovered the egg ingredient is unnecessary.
Be sure to use the TIPS listed below to make a great batch of easy, homemade granola every time:
In a large bowl, mix the following ingredients
6 c. oats (I like the "old-fashioned" kind, not the instant)
1/3 c. wheat germ or ground flaxseed; HEALTH TIP: Increase the benefits by using both. If you want, you can up the total amount to 1/2 c.; 1/4 of each (the extra amount won't matter, especially if you use the granola as cereal or on yogurt).
1½ c. nuts: mix up whatever type you prefer; chop up almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc. TIME TIP: To save a prep step, look to buy bags of sliced or slivered almonds and chopped walnuts. I also through in some whole almonds for extra crunch.
1/3 c. seeds: shelled sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds (AKA pepitas). HEALTH TIP: Buy "unsalted" seeds & nuts.
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
In a small, deep bowl or mixing cup, combine the following ingredients
1/2 - 3/4 c. honey or agave; TIP: the sweetener doesn't have to be an exact amount, but you need at least 1/2 cup
1/3 c. olive oil; I use extra-virgin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt (optional)
MIXING TIP: Use a fork to work the oil and vanilla through the sweetener, then whisk.
Set Aside the following ingredients
1 c. shredded coconut (optional): Set aside the coconut, separated into 3 even amounts
2 c. dried fruit of your choice; use a mix of blueberries, cherries, cranberries, raisins, apricots, etc. HEALTH TIP: Be sure to check each brand's package for added sugar and/or preservatives before buying.
Handful (or two!) of mini-semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1. Set up 2 large rimmed cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. TIP: Use the regular baking option, not convection cooking. Arrange the oven racks mid-level but with a bit of extra space between each rack to allow for air flow.
3. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry goods. TIP: Because there are no egg whites, every drop of the sweetener/oil mixture counts! Use the fork to work it evenly through the mixture.
4. Spread the combined mixture onto the cookie sheets in an even layer.
5. If using the shredded coconut, leave 2 of the 3 divided portions near the oven to add during the baking process.
6. Total baking time is approx. 25 minutes. BAKING TIPS: It's important to keep on eye on the granola to ensure even browning. Bake for 10 minutes, then swap each cookie sheet around from the High to Low rack (and low to high), and spin them around Front to Back. Note if any corners are getting dark and mix those portions into the center. Bake for 10 more minutes, stir the granola around each sheet, then repeat the "switching & spinning" placement process of the cookie sheets. At 20 minutes of baking time, add one third portion of the shredded coconut to each sheet of granola and mix in.
7. At 25 minutes, judge whether both sheets look the same in color. The granola should be a nice golden brown (see picture above). If not, let bake a few more minutes keeping a close eye on it. TIP: At this point, it can overcook quickly, so each minute counts.
8. Cool the sheets on cooling racks. BONUS: The house will smell scrumptious!
9. Combine the cooled granola with the last unbaked portion of the shredded coconut, dried fruit mixture, and chocolate chips.
10. Store in airtight containers or bag for snacking.
The best part of this granola recipe is that you can customize the added ingredients to suit specific tastes for you or your family. I'm not sure if granola is "granola" without nuts, but if there is a nut allergy issue, leave them out and ramp up the seed and fruit ingredients. BONUS: Besides egg allergy issues, without the egg ingredient, there is a much longer shelf life with this recipe.
If you have extra of these ingredients in the house, you might want to also try our Oatmeal Cookie Recipe - which shares many of the same wholesome items - Mmmm! Let me know if you try either or any of the HWA recipes. I love to hear from you!
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