We’ve been eating a lot of granola lately, which is really great because for a vegetarian, I feel like I still don’t come close to reaching the recommended daily fiber intake. Which is bad because, well, saying that fiber is good is an understatement (click here to learn more about fiber). But to be perfectly honest, granola (except for a few granola bars every time there is ABSOLUTELY nothing else to eat) was never part of my diet. No, actually, I didn’t know granola cereal existed until almost a year ago. So it’s a bit weird how I’m sharing a homemade granola recipe, inspired by Martha Stewart and A Beautiful Mess. Being able to make it from scratch and add whatever dried fruit, nuts and seeds I want just made it a lot more appetizing.
- 2 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats (large flakes
- 1 cup Sliced Almonds
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
- 1/3 cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/3 cup Honey/ Maple/ Agave**
- Preheat your oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. (I find that they burn easily at 350 F or higher and you’ll have to mix it more frequently.
- Combine the old fashioned oats, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Mix evenly.
- In a separate bowl, combine the oil, vanilla bean paste, salt and the syrupy sweetener of your choice. Blend well. Pour this mixture over your dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated. NOTE: If you’re lazy like me, you might be tempted to just toss everything together in one bowl and stir. Good news! That’d be alright. That’s how I made it the first time *One bowl less to wash! Yeah!* But you run the risk of an uneven flavor.
- Spread the raw granola mix onto a rimmed baking sheet (to about half an inch thick so it bakes evenly) lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. To make sure it cooks evenly, mix every 10 minutes. Watch the edges because they tend to cook (and may burn) quickly.
- Once it’s out of the oven, stir in the dried fruit mix.
- Once it has completely cooled, store in a dry airtight container. I’ve stored mine for up to a little over a week and they haven’t gone stale.
Variations: Feel free to add whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you like. Examples: walnuts, filberts, coconut flakes, dried mango, dried papaya. Be adventurous. Feel free to try other spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom.
** If you’re wondering which syrup or sweetener to use, it really boils down to the flavor your like. Although many literature argue the benefits of using a particular sweetener over the other, in the end, added sugar is still added sugar and should be taken in moderation just like anything else. I’m listing a couple of sources below if you’re interested to learn more about the nutritional differences between these sweeteners.