Thursday, May 26, 2011

Homemade Maple Nut Granola ~ easy and delicious

I was first introduced to homemade granola while living with my future brother and sister-in-laws. I was teaching school out of my home community and boarding with them. (This was, of course, before I was married.) Previously, I had the notion that granola was gross. I had never tasted it, mind you. I just knew from the name that it tasted like, well, like sawdust. I mean, it even looks unappetizing.

Well, like I said, I was boarding at my future in-laws. I always grabbed a bowl of cereal before heading to school in the mornings. Well, one day future SIL announced that she was out of cereal but she had made granola for me. Um, gulp! Ok, sure. I didn't want to hurt her feelings so I took a tiny bit. After the first bite, I scarfed it down and took a much bigger helping. Surprise! It was not only good - it was delicious!

I have made it myself a few times since then. I won't even try any other recipe - why mess with success? Well, it had been quite awhile since I've made it so Sunday I decided to throw a batch together. That's literally all there is to it - throw it together and bake it. My kids absolutely love it and I'm happy to be feeding them a more substantial cereal than boughten.

Here is the recipe if you want to try it for yourself:

Maple Nut Granola

  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter - melted
  • 1/2 tsp. maple flavor
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, combine butter, flavoring, and cinnamon. Pour over cereal and stir until well combined. Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir and bake an additional 15 minutes. Yield: About 4 - 5 cups.

If you're consciously trying to cut your sugar intake, you could probably cut the sugar back to half a cup as this is pretty sweet. The graham crackers and coconut both add sweetness in addition to the sugar. I will probably try less sugar then next time around.

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