Easy Crunchy Granola
I love breakfast. I love breakfast foods. Oatmeal, waffles, smoothies, muffins, yogurt, fruit, cereal, bacon. If I had my way, I would eat ‘breakfast’ foods for every meal. Tristan, however needs meat and food that will ‘stick with me’, in his words. So alas, no muffins for every meal.
But I still love breakfast foods. I find however that mornings in our home can be hectic with getting everyone up and dressed, changing diapers, feeding the baby, and then amid all that trying to get breakfast on the table.
One morning, after yet another meltdown of my almost 2-year old, Tristan says to me, “I think she just needs to eat,” and I realised if I get food in the kids as soon as possible after they wake up, everyone is pleasanter. I can’t blame them. If I get to have my cup of coffee when I first wake up, I feel friendlier too! Cue in the easy and fast breakfast foods. Cooked oatmeal, fruit smoothies, yogurt and granola.
Granola is the make-once-a-week food that keeps on giving all week (or a couple weeks) long. I guess you could go out and buy granola, but it is super cheap to make and really easy! I have tried so many recipes and have tweaked and changed them into this easy and delicious recipe. I usually make a plain granola, but you can add in all sorts of nuts, seeds or dried fruit too!
So without further fan-fair, here is my Easy Crunchy Granola Recipe.
Easy Crunchy Granola
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup honey or maple syrup (or a mixture of both)
¼ cup oil (canola or olive work good)
4 cups quick oats (you can use old fashioned if you like)
½ tsp cinnamon (more if you like it more cinnamon-y)
¼ tsp salt
Add-ins of seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, flax), nuts (walnuts, almonds), dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries, apples, apricots) coconut, etc. Experiment to find out what you like best!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt brown sugar, honey or maple syrup, and oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil, then remove from heat. Add the oats, cinnamon and salt to the saucepan and stir well to coat all the oats.
Spread the oat mixture onto a cookie sheet and pop into the oven for 10 minutes. Stir the oats on the pan and put back in the oven for 10 more minutes. If you want to add in any nuts, seeds, or dried fruit, do in the last 5 minutes of bake time, or even right after you take the pan out of the oven.
The oats may seem a bit wet still at the end of baking but will harden and become dry and crunchy when it cools. Let the granola cool completely and then store in an airtight container or bag.
Enjoy your granola with yogurt, on its own with milk, or even as a topping for muffins or other baked goods!