Guilt Free Granola

 

Ingredients:
3 cups oats
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/3-1/2 cup honey
1 cup raisins

I love granola. But every time I pick up a box and look at the ingredients I’m turned off and put it back down. The granola let-down pushed me to research recipes. Every single recipe I came across had so much sugar and oil and things you just don’t want in your “healthy” meals. Save that stuff for cupcakes and french fries, right?
Choosing what products you use is as simple as reading the labels. It is important to make certain your dried fruits and nuts are sulfur free, unsalted, unsweetened with no added oil, sugar, or other preservatives. I go to Trader Joe’s for my nuts and dried fruit because they have a great selection with nothing added. I buy the shredded coconut from Whole Foods.

Take 3 cups of quick cook oats, add 1 cup slivered almonds and 1 cup sunflower seeds and mix in a large bowl. Add in 3 tbsp shredded coconut, and the cinnamon and vanilla and stir it all up. I prefer using a wooden bowl and spoon because once you add the honey mixture it tends to stick less.Put 1/2 cup honey and 1 tbsp coconut oil in a separate bowl and beat it with a whisk. The coconut honey and the oats can now be mixed together. I like using a wooden spoon to scoop the coconut honey into the oats and nuts. You can use anywhere between 1/3 to 1/2 cup of honey. I have tried it with both measurements of honey and it tastes great either way, but be sure to use the best honey you can get your hands on.

Once the nuts and oats are covered with honey spread the mixture on a well greased cookie sheet. I use coconut oil spray to grease my pan. Place it in the oven pre-heated to 275.

The trick to a good granola is in the baking. Bake at 275 degrees 10 minutes at a time for a total of 60 minutes in the oven. You have to take it out every 10 minutes and stir it around, then pop it back in to continue baking. Otherwise the oats will burn. And make sure you keep the oven at 275. Any higher and you will likely end up with burned inedible oats that fill up the house with a sweet smell for only a moment in time! Believe me. I found out the hard way and totally burned the batch from my first attempt. It took me days to get over it.

Once your perfectly golden granola has cooled, add one cup of raisins and stir it up. Your granola is now ready to eat. Store in an air tight container and it will last for up to two weeks. Beware. You may find you have to start making this once a week. I even took some to my fitness trainer, Mark DiMuzio. He approves of the ingredients and flavor, and says it is the most healthy and delicious granola recipe he has encountered to date.I am curious to know what you think. So bake away and let me know how it turns out.

After all… it is Guilt Free Granola! Xo

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