Do you have a favorite breakfast? Mine is granola. It's actually something I love to eat that is good for me! My favorite way to eat it is with Greek yogurt and fruit, or even with a little soy or almond milk over the top. Unfortunately, some of my favorite granolas are pricey and sometimes overly sweet. Fortunately I've discovered that granola is really easy to make and I can customize it to suit my whims or to whatever is available in my cupboards.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Studies have shown that eating a healthful breakfast on a regular basis is an effective way to keep your weight in check, and reduce your risk for developing hypertension and type-2 diabetes. Eating oats is also a proven way of reducing bad cholesterol. Do yourself a favor and make a batch of this yummy granola. Use whatever nuts you prefer, and customize it to include your favorite add-ins. It's easy and economical!
adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe, Andy's Fairfield Granola
5 cups rolled oats (not the quick kind)
3 cups raw nuts (whatever kind you prefer- I used pecans, walnuts and almonds) roughly chopped
Add ins- (up to about 1-2 cups total) Use what you like- I used:
Coconut (I used dry unsweetened)
Sunflower seeds (unsalted, without hulls)
Pumpkin seeds or pepitas (unsalted, without hulls)
Flax seeds or flax seed meal
Chia seeds (Who knew they were good for more than pets?)
3/4 cup date sugar (or light brown sugar)
1 Tablespoon Baking Spice Mix (recipe here) or cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1/3 cup agave nectar or brown rice syrup (can substitute honey)
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons Canola or light flavored olive oil
Optional (to be added after granola completely cools)
Raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried blueberries or other dried fruit to taste.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Set oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven. You'll need both of them.
- In a small bowl, mix together the applesauce, agave nectar, honey and oil. (You can substitute honey for the agave nectar if you don't have any. It's still delicious!) Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, add-ins, sugar, spices and salt.
- Pour the applesauce/honey mixture over the oat/nut mixture and stir together until all of the oat mixture is coated with the applesauce mixture.
- Divide the mixture between two large baking sheets. (jelly roll pans) Spread the mixture evenly.
- Put the pans on the oven racks and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Rotate the pans (top rack to bottom rack, etc.) every 10 minutes or so and stir the granola each time to keep it from clumping together. Stir again when you remove it from the oven. The granola should be golden brown- please don't overbake!
- Cool completely. Mix in dried fruit if desired, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.