Granola has long been considered a health food, loaded with oats, nuts, fruits and so many wonderful things.
The term is even used to describe a person who lives a natural healthful lifestyle.
Just picking a bag of it up in the health food section of the store even made you feel healthier. Until that day when you are waiting in line and decide to read the label, and I mean, really read the label, the entire ingredient list. There are usually at least two variations of sugar tucked in there, plus I can almost guarantee you that fruit, that healthy dried fruit, has been sweetened!
I actually noticed this years ago and just generally steered clear of granola, or really compared brands to find the lesser of the evils, then I started randomly tinkering with making my own.
Guess what? It is SUPER easy to make even if you claim you can’t cook!
The best part you can change it up any time you want, using what you have on hand, adding different nuts and fruits. I even made a batch without oats once, because I was out and had a wide variety of nuts leftover from various other projects. So I made a nut and fruit granola and it was one of my favorite versions!
I do add honey and/or brown sugar, but I add unsweetened fruit and I promise the amount you add yourself comes nowhere near what they add in the processed bag.
So give it go, you will be so glad you did.
NOTE: Sometimes I have trouble finding unsweetened dried fruit, but it is out there, MAKE the effort!
1 to 1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
¾ cup to 1 cup cashews, almonds, pecans, your choice or combo of
1 cup UNSWEETENED coconut flakes – try to find the large flakes, they cook up the best and create the best texture and flavor
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup of honey
1-2 teas cinnamon
1/2 teas salt
1/4-1/2 teas nutmeg
dried cherries or cranberries or currants
Preheat oven to 350
mix together all ingredients except dried fruit in a large bowl until coated.
IF the mixture seems too loose add a TB or more coconut oil and a bit of honey.
Spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Check it after 10, you want it to be a light golden brown, it can go from golden to burnt quickly, especially the coconut. And it will continue to brown a bit after you remove it from the oven.
It will not be crunchy when you first pull it out, but will crisp up as it cools. Add dried fruit after you take it out of the oven and toss lightly.
Let it cool on the pan for a few minutes then remove and store in an airtight bag or container. It will keep for several weeks, but it probably won’t last that long!