Healthy Homemade Granola

The winner of the Lucid Food giveaway (picked by random.org) was Sara. Many thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks of course to Louisa Shafia for donating a signed copy of her awesome book. I’ve got at least 3 more giveaways lined up this summer, so please stay tuned!

Even though the giveaway is over, I just have to share this recipe. It’s inspired by the granola that appears in Lucid Food, which Louisa calls “The Best Granola Ever”.

I made some changes to Louisa’s version based on what was in my cupboards, and I just loved the result. This combination of seeds is both nutritious and delicious, it is naturally sweetened (with a combination of the dried fruits and a small amount of maple syrup), and the organic coconut oil makes it much healthier than most granolas that are commercially available.

homemade granola

A note about coconut oil: If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I enjoy organic coconut oil and use it all the time in my cooking and baking. I do this because it is an all natural fat that supports a healthy weight and good health.

Coconut oil is liquid in hot weather, but solid when the temperature outside is cooler. Sometimes I forget to mention that if it is cool outside, you may need to liquify your coconut oil to use in a recipe. Not a problem here in NY in the summer, but if you are making this recipe in a cooler climate, just place your jar in a pan of hot water and your coconut oil will melt.

If you don’t have coconut oil, other oils that I might try in this recipe include grapeseed oil and olive oil (I personally do not use canola or other polyunsaturated vegetable oils in my cooking because I don’t believe they contribute to good health).

I’ve been eating a small bowl of this healthy homemade granola, topped with fresh berries from my garden, every day for breakfast lately. That says a lot…because I rarely eat the same thing two days in a row. I love it topped with plain kefir (a cultured dairy product that I make with raw milk). It’s also great with plain yogurt, or if you don’t do dairy, your favorite milk alternative (almond milk or other nut/seed milk would be nice). It’s also great by the handful as a snack.

If you do not eat gluten, you can use gluten-free oats in this recipe.

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homemade granola

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and the first edition of the Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop!

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Recipe for Homemade Granola

Inspired by the recipe for The Best Granola Ever that appears in Lucid Food by Louisa Shafia
Yield: about 4 cups

Ingredients

  • *1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • *1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • *1/3 cup raw sesame seeds
  • *2 cups organic rolled oats
  • *1-2 teaspoons organic ground cinnamon
  • *3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • *3 tablespoons organic coconut oil liquified in a pan of hot water, if necessary
  • *1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *1/2 cup organic raisins
  • *1/2 cup organic dried cranberries unsulphured dried apricots, or other dried fruit (chopped, if necessary)
  • *1/4 cup raw cacao nibs- optional but highly recommended (70% dark chocolate chips could be substituted, if desired)

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  • 2. Pour all ingredients except cacao nibs in a large bowl and stir well.
  • 3. Spread the mixture evenly onto a baking sheet in a thin layer.
  • 4. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • 5. Remove pan from oven, toss granola around, rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes. Repeat until granola is completely dry and light golden brown (about 1 hour total).
  • 6. Allow to cool and then stir in cacao nibs. Store in an air-tight container.