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Homemade Granola

Homemade sometimes seems like it is WAY more work...but don't let that one word stop you...Homemade is really not that much more work if any and definitely worth the time it does take in the end. I love finding new ways to make old favorites. Cooking from scratch encourages experimentation and creativeness in the kitchen...and don't forget back to basics cooking most importantly allows you to be aware of and control what goes into your family's bellies. If you were to visit me on any given day you will most likely find me baking or cooking up something homemade and delicious...I LOVE doing both.

Today's Maple Vanilla Granola recipe originally found on Good Cheap Eats and adapted to our tastes (and what I had in the pantry) will show you just how easy homemade can be.

You will need the following to get started:

5 Cups Rolled Oats (they say not to use Quick Oats)
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil (I used Canola)
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Coconut
1/2 Cup Raisins
1/2 Craisins

Begin by preheating your oven to a toasty warm 300° and line a half baking sheet with parchment paper or a wash and reuse silpat mat.

While your oven is heating you will need to combine your oats and salt together.

Taking a small sauce pan add in your syrup, sugar, oil and vanilla and heat just until the sugar is dissolved.

Pour your now hot mixture over your dry ingredients and combine them well with a few good stirs.

With your ingredients all mixed together it is time to pour them into your pan, making sure to spread them evenly and down firmly.

Pop your granola mix into your toasty warm oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or just until you see a nice golden brown. At this point you will need to remove your granola from the oven and break your pressed piece into clusters and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Side Note: The original recipe called for 40-45 minutes but I found that for my oven 40 minutes was too long...although it looked a light golden brown when I pulled it out...I found that within a few minutes it was darkening...forgot that it continued to cook after it came out. Every oven is different so my suggestion to you is to keep a close watch on your granola mix, especially when it gets close to the 30 minute mark.

Once your granola has baked and cooled, it is time to add in whatever extras you would like...we added coconut, raisins and craisins...but almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds are all good options as well.

Such a pretty cereal :D

Make sure to store your granola in an airtight container and you will have this delicious treat to enjoy for days to come...Granola is great on its own but is also extremely delicious on yogurt with a topping of fruit and sprinkled on your apple crisp.

What other ways have you used Granola? Do you add anything special to yours that I didn't list here?

Now Go Be Brave...and try your hand at some HOMEMADE cooking.


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