For a while now I have wanted to come up with a "healthier" version of granola. Granola, although touted as a health food, can be quite high in sugar and fat, not to mention calories. So I wanted to try and come up with one that tastes great and that is made from all natural, high-quality ingredients. So here it is! I wouldn't say that it is low fat or low sugar, (I think I'll work on that next), but it is definitely better than most of the ones that you will buy at the store. There are no hydrogenated or trans fats in it, and the sweetener is not that white powdery stuff I call crack :) Last week I wrote about some of the different sweeteners that I use - you can read that here.
I absolutely loved this stuff and so did my kids (hopeful the new neighbor did too). Also, just a tip - granola is a very "forgiving" recipe so if you don't have or don't like any of the ingredients, simply leave them out (except for maybe the oats ;).
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 raw cashews
1/2 shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened - your choice)
1/2 wheat germ
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup goji berries, optional
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil (I used unrefined)
1/4 cup palm sugar (or 1 "puck")
1/2 cup turbinado or raw sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice (which I drained from a can of pineapple chunks), or apple juice concentrate
1/2 chopped dates (I put these in the wet ingredients to soften them and plump them up)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
In a saucepan pan combine all of the wet ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it is brought to a boil, turn the heat to low and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and then divide the granola onto 2 large cookie sheets.
Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour and 20 minutes. Stir the granola every 20 minutes to create even heating.
You can eat the granola warm, or store it a room temperature in an air-tight container. It should keep for at least of few weeks (although mine only lasted a few days with all the eager hands).