Granola is one of my favorite healthy snacks. I always have several containers of it around the house as a quick, healthy snack when I want something sweet or as a convenient alternative when my husband sits down next to me tempting me with a big handful of Golden Oreos.
The main issues I have with eating store-bought granola is that a lot of the reasonably-priced brands contain unhealthy ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. If you want organic or all-natural granolas, you will often have to pay an arm and a leg for them. I saw granolas at my local health food store for $8 for a 12oz container! Making granola yourself can be more economical and healthier depending on what you chose to put in it. Plus, it’s SUPER easy! It stays fresh for a long time, so I like to make a lot of it and keep a jar on the coffee table to snack on while watching TV and keep a ziplock bag full of it in my desk drawer at work to curb mid-morning cravings.
So for the past several months I’ve been experimenting with various combinations of grains, nuts, and seeds to come up with the perfect granola recipe that is both healthy and easy to prepare. I like my granola crunchy and in big clusters, so it’s been quite a balancing act to come up with the perfect mixture of wet and dry ingredients. But after months of experimentation, I think I found the perfect granola recipe. Even my husband, who ordinarily runs and hides at the mention of anything healthy, loves this stuff!
For this recipe, I used a mixture of whole grains, nuts, and seeds that I found at my local organic market. This is the combination I prefer, but feel free to swap out or omit some of the nuts and seeds that you don’t like. That’s the beauty of homemade granola, you can customize it based on your preferences. This recipe contains tons of healthy grains, nuts, and seeds, specifically it includes:
- Oats – Oats are the foundation for any granola. You can use any type of oat, but I like Oat Bran because it contains a ridiculous amount of fiber and antioxidants. If you can’t find Oat Bran, you can easily substitute Quaker Oatmeal.
- Nuts – Of course you can chose any kind of nuts for your granola, but I used Walnuts and Pecans for this recipe. Walnuts contain Omega 3′s and help with a variety of ailments, such as diabetes and stress relief. Pecans are full of vitamins and antioxidants as well. I’ve experimented with a variety of nuts and these are my favs. I also really like Brazil Nuts in my granola, but they are also extremely pricey, so I excluded them from this recipe.
- Whole Flax Seeds: I love the flax seeds in this recipe. They add Omega 3 Fatty Acids and fiber to the granola. In addition, it adds a somewhat silky, smooth, texture to the granola. I definitely recommend keeping these in the recipe, not only are they extremely healthy, but one bag of whole flax seeds will last you a VERY long time.
- Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas): Slightly sweet and chewy, they add a lovely texture as well as tons of antioxidants and vitamins.
- Raw Honey: Raw honey is not pasteurized, so it’s still chock full of beneficial enzymes that are ordinarily lost during the pasteurization process. Raw honey is thought to help with various things like indigestion, allergies, fertility, among other things. Some say it even slows the aging process! I highly recommend using raw honey instead of regular honey. Not only is it healthier, but raw honey is also usually solid at room temperature which helps you get those yummy, bite sized clusters!
The process of making this healthy treat is very easy. It only takes me maybe 5 or 10 minutes to throw the thing together. Did I also mention, it makes your house smell amazing while it’s baking?
So here’s the recipe! If you try it, let me know what you think.
Nutty Honey Flax Granola
Makes: About 20 servings.
Active Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 2.5 hours
Cooling Time: 2 hours
- 2 cups Oat Bran (raw)
- 2 cups Oatmeal (raw)
- 1 cup Shredded Coconut (Unsweetened)
- 1 1/2 cups Walnut halves
- 1 1/2 cups Pecan halves
- 3/4 cup Sesame Seeds (raw, unsalted)
- 1/2 cup Pumpkins Seeds (Pepitas)
- 5 tbsp Whole Flax Seed
- 2 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
- 1tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Saigon Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 cup Organic Raw Honey
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Place rack in middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 200 ºF.
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Place raw honey in a small, microwave-safe bowl and heat until melted. Add olive oil and vanilla extract to honey and whisk until combined. Pour half of honey-oil mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon. Pour remaining honey-oil mixture over dry ingredients and stir until combined. Mixture should look slightly moist and should start clumping together. If mixture does not look moist or doesn’t clump together at all, add a little more melted honey and oil.
Put granola mixture in a large rimmed baking sheet and press down lightly with the back of the wooden spoon.
Bake in 200 ºF oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until granola is very fragrant and golden.
Remove from oven, cover, and allow to cool for a couple hours to allow mixture to harden. Once granola is completely cool, use a knife or metal spatula to remove granola from pan. Place the knife or spatula in the corner of the pan and gently lift granola mixture so it comes out in large chunks or sheets. Break the chunks or sheets to the desired size and place in a storage container. Repeat to remove all granola from pan.
Then voila! Wholesome granola goodness!!!