How good does that sound?! The first two words, healthy and homemade, are enough to capture me...but then you add vanilla, orange, and granola. Yum!!!! I've only made homemade granola once before, and that was pre-blogging. The first time I made it I used the recipe I'm about to share with you; luckily I saved it in my "Food & Recipes" folder of my email so that I could make it again! If you're a fan of granola, I really think you'll like this recipe. It is soooo darn easy, and it's also fun because it's the type of recipe that you can really make your own! There are endless potential ingredients to add to granola, so you might never actually make the same recipe twice. I like that...the Barbershop is all about switching it up and making a recipe your own! :)
Alrightie, down to business. Click here to see the recipe I followed. As you can see, the title of the recipe on the website is low-fat, low-sugar homemade vanilla orange granola. Ya gotta love the low fat and sugar! Even though I just provided the link to the recipe, I'll share with you the actual ingredients I used today. The measurements for everything but the vanilla and cinnamon are approximate...I didn't actually measure! The Barbershop is living on the edge...
-3 cups old-fashioned oats
-1/4 cup flaxseeds
-1/4 cup wheat germ
-1/3 to 1/2 cup slivered almonds
-1/3 to 1/2 cup wildflower honey
-1/3 to 1/2 cup orange juice
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 to 1/3 cup raisins
-1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the orange juice, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small saucepan on the stove; heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey has melted. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flaxseeds, wheat germ, and almonds. I did not add the raisins and coconut at this point.
Pour the orange-honey mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir well until the oats mixture is coated. Spread this mixture in a thin layer on an ungreased baking sheet (one with sides is helpful!).
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring at least once at the 15 minute mark. When there is approximately 10 minutes left of baking time, stir in the coconut and raisins.
I ended up stirring the granola three or four times during the baking. Using a pan with sides is helpful so that you don't lose any precious granola while you're stirring! Oh, and I also wanted to mention how amazing your kitchen will smell when you're making this granola... The orange, honey, and cinnamon cooking on the stove smell wonderful together, and then that delicious aroma continues as the granola bakes. You'd better prepare your nose for a pleasant experience with this recipe. :)
Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Now, the next step is to enjoy the granola however you'd like! I chose to have an afternoon snack of some Dannon light n' fit vanilla yogurt with about 1/4 cup of granola mixed in, as you can see here. Deeelish!
Maybe you'd like to eat your granola like cereal with some milk? How about sprinkling some on ice cream? Mmmm. Or, what about using it as your topping the next time you make apple crisp? Maybe you'd just like to snack on it as is! However you like to enjoy your granola, go for it.... :)
Other ideas for ingredients to include?! Craisins would be yummy, as would other types of dried fruit bits (pineapples, apricots, apples, etc.). Want to make your granola a bit sweeter? Try adding some chocolate or peanut butter chips at the very end of the baking... Switch up the nuts you use too; I chose to use almonds because I had them on hand, but maybe you'd prefer pecans or walnuts. Oh, sunflower seeds would probably be a yummy addition too! Remember what I said earlier? The possibilities are endless!
I almost forgot to mention that you should definitely check out the nutrition facts for this granola; they're listed online at the link I provided above. They allow you to enjoy this tasty treat without the guilt, and you're also getting some important nutrients at the same time! ;-)