Bonnie's Easy Homemade Granola August 04 2014

Have you ever gone to the store to get granola for your family and looked at the labels?  You might as well be buying candy for them unless that is what you mean to do.  Most of the granola out there is loaded with sugar.  When I look at some of these labels I laugh and think, these people might as well be giving their children sugar cereal instead of what they think is a healthier choice. 

After trying many recipes, I've found that my favorite is the following.  It's very low in sugar and quite yummy.  I made some today to show you the process. I recommend that when you make it you make a lot at once as it doesn't take any longer to make a larger quanitity and it stores quite well.

Ingredients:

 

 

 ( I recommend you purchase all organic, but the choice is yours)

4 cups whole oat (I purchase gluten free oats)
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup walnuts
1 cup almonds
1-2 cups dried fruit - for this recipe I used a combination of raisins, dried cranberries and gogi berries
1 1/2 cups white grape juice
2 tablespoons raw honey

Step one :  place the whole oats in a bowl

Step 2:  put the nuts in a zip lock bag and crush them so they aren't mashed but are in pieces.  You can use a rolling pin or I used a meat pounder as shown

Step 3 - mix the nuts in the bowl with the oats.  Pour some of the grape juice over the mixture and use your hands to mix it so that its not mushy but its just moist.  Add the honey at this point also, (it's not necessary but a tasty addition, you can substitute maple syrup if you like or leave it out completely) You may need the entire amount  of the grape juice and even a little more (it's not an exact science)

Step 4, pour the mixture onto a coookie sheet - for this amount I used 2 cookie sheets.   Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.  You don't want this to burn so I put the timer on for 15 minutes and then stir it.  For this batch I started with 15  minutes, then 10 minutes 2 more times for a total of 35 minutes.  Once the mixture starts to dry out and turn a golden brown you want to take it out of the oven

Step 5:  mix the dried fruit in and store in a glass container if you can - zip lock bags always work in a pinch.

Step 6:  Enjoy.  For lunch today I had granola over some delicious whole milk yogurt.

Be flexible with your ingredients, want to use different nuts in your mix, add some sunflower or pumpkin seeds, use what you have and enjoy it.  It's great to take with you on a hike, use as cereal for your family   

If you're gluten free like I am, just make sure to use gluten free oats, everything else is great.  If you or someone in your family is allergic to nuts, try just using seeds in it.  This is why making your own granola is terrific, you can customize it for you.