Cinnamon Apple Almond Granola

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Let's face it, cereal is probably the easiest and most realistic breakfast for most busy working families (like mine). However, pretty much every commerical cereal out there (notice I am not saying all, just most) are loaded with perservatives, bizarre ingredients you can't pronounce and waaayyyyyyyy too much sugar. Homemade granola is much cheaper than commerically prepared granola, easy to make, and just as convenient as boxed cereal.

Granted, getting it into your cupboard takes a little preperation. Granola making has become a Sunday ritual for me.  I turn on my Miles Davis Pandora station, tie on my apron and get cooking.  It's something I look forward to because not only do I stock up my family for heathly, easy breakfasts for the week, but it is also a creative outlet for me. Granola is something you can have fun with and make to fit your personal tastes.  I have many different kinds of granola I like to make, but this recipe is one of my family's favorites, and the one I get the most "I need that recipe!" requests for. 

 

3 cups rolled oats (uncooked) 

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon seat salt

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup

1/4 coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup coarsely chopped dried apples

1/2 cup slivered almonds

 

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

2. Mix oats, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. 

3. In another bowl, mix together honey/maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Pour over oat mixture and stir everything together until oats are well coated. Spread evenly over a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (or two depending on how big your cookie sheet is. It is important that the granola is in a thin layer while cooking)  

4. bake for 20 minutes, stirring at the midway point. 

5.Remove from oven and add apples and almonds, stirring everything together on the cookie sheet. Put back into the oven for 10 more minutes. 

6. Once done, remove from the oven and let cool for several hours, stirring occasionally. The granola will harden as it cools. Once completely cool, store in an air tight container for up to two weeks.