I love granola on just about anything, including ice cream, yogurt, in a bowl with milk or by the handful dry. Making your own healthy natural granola is super simple. By adding a little of your favorite things you can create a granola to satisfy even the most finicky eater.
In the past I have made all sorts of granola. Some included chocolate bits added at the end, while others were strictly fruit and nut based. The key is to utilize quality ingredients without all of the additives or preservatives – as always, organic is best.
No longer does granola have to be the sugary sweet, fat laden cereal or snack mix! Here’s my recipe for Spiced Cranberry-Orange Granola. You’ll find it irresistible with crunchy nut pieces, dried fruit and sweetened with 100% natural Michigan maple syrup.
Spiced Cranberry Orange Granola
- 4 Cups 100% Natural Whole Rolled Oats (aka Old Fashioned Oats)
- 1/4 Cup Pecan Pieces
- 1/2 Cup Almond Pieces
- 1/4 Cup Flax Seed Meal or Wheat Germ
- 1 package Trader Joe’s Sweetened Dried Orange Slices chopped
- 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/4 tsp Powdered Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- A pinch or two of Salt
- 1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup (you can also use honey)
- 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Heat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl combine all ingredients except for the maple syrup and the vanilla extract as those will be mixed together in a separate cup. Drizzle the syrup mixture over your dry ingredients, stir well to coat evenly. Use your choice of butter, olive oil or non-stick spray to lightly coat a sided baking pan. Spread the granola evenly on the pan and place in the oven. Stirring every 15 minutes, after an hour your granola should be lightly golden and fairly dry. Feel free to adjust the heat and cooking time if you feel it is not browned to your liking. Keep in mind, as the granola cools it will “stiffen” (for lack of a better word) and become crispy.
For those Trader Joe’s fans out there, below is a photo of the dried orange product I used in this recipe. I believe they also have orange flavored dried cranberries as well…if you really want to knock it out of the park.
Much of the time I create and cook with what I have on hand. Don’t hold yourself to the confines of my recipe but rather use it to inspire to you to make your own additions. If you have chia seeds, use them! Are walnuts your weakness? Use those. Does your family grow flax seed or millet? Do you harvest your own honey? Use those handy edibles to create something fabulous and healthy!