So I have a thing for yogurt and granola. It started with my younger brother and his unhealthy obsession with cereal. (I swear, the reason why the kid is as skinny as a stick is because his diet consists mostly of milk and Cheerios. At least the milk is helping him grow up.)
Anyways, my mom buys a lot of cereal. At one point, we had about two dozen boxes of the same kind of cereal sitting in our pantry because it was on sale. After about the ninth box, it’s safe to say that we all got sick of corn flakes and begged our mom to never buy that much of the same kind of cereal ever again.
So now we only have about seven different types of cereal. I’ve tried quinoa puffs, wholegrain cereal made with amaranth, corn flakes, corn puffs, but not one kind of cereal seemed to make an impression on me. I’d choke down the box of cereal in anticipation for the next flavour, which usually turned out to be as disappointing as the last. Whereas my younger brother Kyle enjoys his cereal with milk, I like eating mine with yogurt, which is probably why the majority of the cereals didn’t seem to work for me. By the last spoonful, the cereal had become a tasteless paste.
But then, I tried granola. Mhmm, wholesome, natural, deliciously crunchy granola that doesn’t go soft on you like corn flakes. The things I love the most about homemade granola are that it’s super healthy and you can use whatever fruit or nuts you prefer. Over the last couple months I’ve acquired bag upon bag of healthy grains and nuts. So I made myself a huge batch of granola using all the oatmeal, oat bran, shredded coconut, dried fruit, and cashews in my baking cupboard.
Nutty, slightly sweet, and golden brown, this granola is delicious with yogurt or milk.
Click below for the recipe.
Adapted from: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Yield: 7-8 cups
- 4 cups organic rolled oats
- ½ cup oat bran
- ½ cup wheat flakes
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- 1 cup toasted, shredded coconut
- 1 cup cashews or peanuts, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup apple juice (or cranberry, or orange)
- 2/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 cups dried fruit, chopped (dried cherries, dried papaya, dried cranberries, dried apricots etc.)
- ½ cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, oat bran, wheat flakes, flax seeds, coconut, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until thoroughly blended. In a separate bowl, stir the vegetable oil, juice, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pour into the oat mixture and stir until combined. Turn the granola out on the baking sheet and spread the mixture out evenly.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until the granola is golden brown and toasty. When cool, stir the dried fruit and chocolate chips into the granola. Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Serve with plain yogurt sweetened with maple syrup, jam, or honey, or with milk.