I will be the first to admit I am terrible at making up my own recipes. I'm great at following directions, not so great at creating my own. My original recipes are limited to variations on oatmeal, several types of turkey sandwiches, and some s'mores-y things. Usually my original recipes result when I screw up and accidentally add an extra two teaspoons of vanilla, and I can't just double the recipe because it turns out my brother used the last egg for his omelette this morning and I'm too lazy to change out of pajamas and trek to the grocery store, and so I am forced to improvise.
So yup, still working on this.
Luckily, this week the perfect opportunity arose for me to spread my own wings and learn to fly: we ran out of granola, and I wanted granola. And so I threw a bunch of healthy stuff together and made my own granola. We all have to start somewhere, right?
I don't know how it happened, except that granola is a very forgiving food to make and that I added so many random ingredients that something magical was bound to happen, but this granola tastes good. It's light and crunchy, wholesome and filling, cinnamony and not too sweet. Best of all, it has tons of those granola clusters you dig to the bottom of the bag to reach.
Also, it's chock full of those healthy foods that nutritionists rave about, but I couldn't really say why they're good for you. Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber and things like that. Good stuff!
The recipe may seem a bit random, like is it really necessary to add the egg white and pulse some of the oats in a food processor? I don't know....but I experimented with it to create more of those clumpy granola clusters, and it worked. Feel free to experiment and let me know what worked or didn't work for you!
Once again, granola is a super flexible recipe so play around with the proportions and add in whatever you like - dried fruit, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, different nuts, banana chips, etc.
Enjoy by the handful, or with almond milk and fresh fruit!
3 cups rolled oats (I used Quaker's Old-Fashioned Oats)
1/3 cup flax seeds
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Pulse 1 cup oats in a food processor for 5-10 seconds until it appears powdery. In a medium bowl, mix the oat powder together with rest of the oats, flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, and shredded coconut.
In a separate bowl, whisk together maple syrup, honey, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and egg white. Add in brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and stir together until well combined.
Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine until everything is well coated.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pour the granola and spread out in a thin layer, leaving an empty circle in the middle of the pan to ensure even baking (pictured below). Press down gently with a spatula.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until your house smells like a Cinnabon factory and the granola looks toasted. Remove from oven and let it cool completely before storing. It should get crunchy as it cools. Enjoy!