Typically, my breakfast is a homemade smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal. Recently though, the oatmeal has felt a bit too hot and heavy for summer breakfast so I decided to switch to cold cereal-- specifically, granola. I am a longtime lover of granola, but it can be really unhealthy (hello, fat and TONS of added sugar) so I generally try to stay away from it. Now that I'm back on my cold cereal kick though, I have been buying the healthier whole grain and lower sugar varieties I can find at the store. However, healthier seems to = expensive and this new homeowner is poor. So, I decided to go back into the A Squared recipe files and revisit one of my most trafficked recipes for Healthier Homemade Granola.
Homemade granola is actually really simple to make. You can customize it with a variety of ingredients and then it's simply a matter of combining and baking until crispy. With the move and my travel, I've really fallen off the healthy eating and exercise wagon this summer I wanted to really up the healthy factor in this batch of granola. So, to the sliced almonds that I always include (which are full of healthy fats), I also added flax and chia seeds (rich in omega-3's, protein, and fiber) and sunflower seeds (full of Vitamin E and other vitamins and minerals). For a little sweetness and texture, a combination of raisins and dried tart cherries round out the granola.
I like this granola with fresh berries or sliced bananas and almond milk or some plain Greek yogurt and honey.
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 1/2 Tbs. honey
- 2 Tbs. canola or melted coconut oil
- 2 Tbs. real maple syrup
- 2 Tbs. water
- 2 tsp. real vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels
- 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats (not instant oats)
- 3 Tbs. flaxseeds
- 2 Tbs. chia seeds
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup dried tart cherries
Spread the granola out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until crispy, but not yet browned-- about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice in between. Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.