Hungry Haley

it's more than food

Basically Delicious Granola (GF, Vegan)

Granola, GF, Vegan, Whole Grain, Meal-prepHaley HansenComment

So we all know how absolutely delicious granola is, and we also know how even more absolutely delicious homemade granola is.

My mom has a recipe for granola, its nothing special – no fancy spices, no coconut, or goji berries or anything like that – but my god is it good. Its loaded with all sorts of nuts and dried cranberries and raisins. The oats are perfectly crispy and coated with sugar, butter, and maple syrup. Yes, its absolutely delicious.

What is it exactly that makes granola so darn addicting?

Like, I could probably just sit on the couch, bucket of granola in hand, and eat every last crumb of it.

Is it the crunchy, salty nuts, or the crispy, maple-y oats? Or is it the chewy, syrup-y dried fruit?

Personally, I think it’s the butter. After all, fat = flavor. Anyone who has ever cooked or baked with butter and then tried the same recipe with a healthier alternative than butter will tell you the same thing.

Preparing to make this recipe, many would back down and surrender to just using the butter, afraid the finished product will taste, um, how do you say it, healthy.

Well, NOT ME. Challenge accepted.

I replaced all the butter. Not some, ALL.

But do not fear, my friends, because this granola is just as absolutely delicious as I described my mom’s recipe to be.

When I first tasted it, it was like candy. Now - I know what you’re thinking – “I don’t want candy… I want granola.” And that’s what I thought, at first, too.

I was afraid it’s sweetness would be overpowering and too much when paired with yogurt or pancakes…

But I was wrong. Soooo wrong.

The morning after I made it, I sprinkled (or dumped) some of it over my Greek yogurt and added a sliced banana and some honey. I remember not feeling starved that morning, but at the same time, I wanted something more substantial than just my usual smoothie.

Well, let me tell you.

I couldn’t stop eating this. In fact, I didn’t even get a picture of it this time because I was just so focused on devouring it and not letting it get away that I forgot the picture. The creaminess of the yogurt worked alongside the chewiness of the granola to create the perfect texture and consistency. And, to my surprise, the sweetness of all the components – the syrupy granola, the tart yogurt, the fruity banana, and the light honey – seemed to harmonize and let each other’s unique flavor play its part.

Teamwork, right?

Today, I ventured out and mixed it into my Acai Berry Protein Shake, tomorrow, it’ll go in my Perfect Protein Powder Pancakes, and, if any remains by the end of the weekend, maybe you’ll even bite into some granola cookies.

Enjoy!

IMG_5309.JPG

Makes about 4 cups

2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
¾ cup agave nectar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
¾ cup raisins (or any other dried fruit)
1 tsp. sea salt (2 tsp. if using unsalted almonds)
1 tsp. cinnamon

1.     Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and grease a large baking sheet.
2.     Combine the first three ingredients in a large bowl and add sea salt and cinnamon. Mix in raisins.
3.     In a separate bowl, stir together the wet ingredients and pour into the dry ingredients, mixing until everything is fully incorporated.
4.     Spread evenly on greased baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring after the first 30 minutes.
5.     Remove when granola looks golden brown and can be smelled throughout the house J enjoy with yogurt, in pancakes, on smoothies, or simply as a snack!