One of my favorite, year round breakfasts is granola with yogurt. While I love to eat it year round, for some reason I find that I only make homemade granola in the wintertime. I’m not sure why this is as granola is easy to make and doesn’t require much time, although it does require firing up the oven, which is something I don’t necessarily like to do more than necessary during the summer. Maybe I should try to figure out how to bake granola on one of my grills!!!
Granola has a reputation for being a “healthy” food. While even the worst of granolas are a good source of fiber, they can also be high in calories and fats if you aren’t careful of what brand you chose or what you add to it. As easy as making granola is, I don’t see why anyone would want to purchase store-bought stuff that can often be full of high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Now, any of you that have read my blog for awhile will know, I don’t always shy away from these “unhealthy” products, but I also don’t see the point in adding more of them to my diet when making granola is so simple and such a good addition to any weight loss diet.
Granola, even the best of them, tend to be pretty high in calories due to all the sweetening that makes them so yummy. They also tend to be high in fat because, not only do they often contain quite a few nuts, but also usually have added oil to help get the granola crisp. Neither of these things are necessarily a bad thing, but because of this I try to eat granola in moderation, which isn’t too difficult as I find it to be very filling. 1/2 cup of granola topping 1/2 cup of plain, homemade yogurt usually is enough to fill me up for breakfast.
While I give a very specific recipe below, feel free to play around with it to suit your tastes. The recipe contains 4 cups of oatmeal and 3 cups of other “dry” ingredients. Keeping the oatmeal the same, feel free to play around with the other ingredients, changing the ratios to suit your tastes or adding other things such as other nuts, seeds or grains. And while I kept this light on the dried fruit, feel free to add more dried fruit or vary the variety of dried fruits you use.
Honey Glazed Granola
makes 8 cups (approximately 16 1/2 cup servings)
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 cup Honey
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tb. Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. Ginger, ground
1/2 tsp. Salt
4 cups Rolled Oats (not instant)
1 cup Wheat Germ
1 cup Pecans, chopped
1 cup Shredded Coconut, unsweetened
1 cup Raisins
Preheat your oven to 300°F. In one bowl, combine the first set of 6 ingredients and mix well.
In another, larger bowl, combine the next set of 4 ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and mix well to ensure that everything is well coated. Spread out onto 2 baking sheets and place in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring the granola every 8-10 minutes. Granola is done when it starts to turn a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes add the raisins. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
The granola will last for at least 2 weeks, kept in the airtight container. It might even last longer, but we never let it sit around that long to find out.