When the speed of life picks up, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to work in a complete, balanced breakfast. But, simply taking a moment to enjoy the morning and fuel your body with the energy it needs to take advantage of the day is an incredibly easy, fulfilling way to balance your life. And, when your day starts with something as delicious as homemade granola, everything takes on a brighter, more cheerful hue.
This granola is just simply a treat. It's filled with nutritious, delicious ingredients, and, truly, it's easy as can be to make. Plus, as it cooks, the tantalizing scent of maple syrup will fill your home, making it a delight for all your senses.
7 cups rolled oats
1 cup toasted coconut
1 cup wheat germ
2 cups nuts (your choice! almonds, pecans, and walnuts are a great combination)
1 cups sunflower seeds, raw or toasted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup (or more) dried fruit
Combine the oats, coconut, wheat germ, nuts and sunflower seeds thoroughly. In another bowl, combine salt, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract, then add it to the oat mixture and stir until well-coated and well-combined. Spread onto lightly greased, rimmed baking sheets in a thin, even layer. Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for 2 hours, stirring the granola every 15 minutes or so.
Once the granola has cooked and cooled, mix in your choice of dried fruit. Our go-to is a combination of raisins, dried cranberries and dried cherries, but dried apricots, dried apples and dried mango would be delicious additions, too! Store in an air-tight container for up to a month.
We love granola for so many reasons. First of all, it's so simple to make, and it keeps very well—which means just a little bit of effort on a lazy Sunday will yield a healthy choice for breakfast and snacks for weeks to come. Plus, when homemade, it's easy to make granola highly nutritious. Oats are a great source of fiber to keep you full and energized, and, as a whole grain, they also lower your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, the fiber in oats helps lower your total and bad LDL cholesterol levels. For even more fiber, this granola has delicious additions like seeds and dried fruit, and nuts like walnuts provide heart-healthy omega-2 fatty acids, too. And, what's better, when granola is sweetened with all-natural sugars, like fruit and maple syrup, it's a low fat and delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth.