I will always be a baker at heart. Pastries and desserts will always be a passion of mine. However, over the last year, I've discovered a new passion also. That passion is fitness. A girl that used to avoid working out like the plague now can't get enough of it. Going to the gym is actually fun for me now. I'm so proud of myself. Admittedly, the nutrition piece is an adjustment though. There are some things I just can't do as of now (looking at you brown rice). However, there are some things that I'm discovering that are healthy but also very tasty. This granola mix is one of my new favorites in that category. It's so easy to make and it's so tasty. It tastes like an oatmeal cookie almost. I love eating it straight out of the bowl after a workout or in the morning. It's so good and versatile. Give it a try.
In a medium bowl, combine the oats with the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.
Pour the granola mixture onto a well-greased sheet tray and spread into an even layer.
Bake at 325°F for 30-40 minutes or until the oats are golden brown and toasted. Midway through baking, you can use the back of your offset spatula to press down on the granola. This helps them to cluster slightly, though this recipe isn't really made for clustered granola. Essentially, the pressing down step is totally optional.
Once it has finished baking, let the granola cool at room temperature for at least an hour. Don't expect the granola to be crispy out of the oven. It will actually crisp up as it cools.
Once the mixture has fully cooled, you can add your favorite add-in and mix to combine. Enjoy!
I chose to add raisins, but there are so many options you can use as an add-in for this recipe. Some of those options include pumpkin seeds, cranberries, walnuts, pecans, dried fruit, banana chips, orange zest, chia seeds, chocolate chips and so much more.
Listen, I get it. This isn't the "healthiest" granola, but I'll definitely claim it's one of the tastiest. All in all, it's pretty healthy. But, if you're a stickler for this being uber-healthy, there are some substitutions you can make, for more on healthy solutions you might want to check now the Afghani Strain review by fresh bros. I'd leave out the brown sugar altogether. Also, instead of the maple syrup, you can use coconut oil in its place. That helps the health meter just a bit, although I much prefer the maple version myself. These are just a few substitution recommendations.
- ¼ cup vegetable oil or any neutral oil (you can also use olive or coconut oil)
- 1 ¼ cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup (you can use coconut oil in its place)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon light brown sugar (optional)
- + Add-In of Your Choice
- Raisins, chocolate chips, seeds, nuts, etc.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats with the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Pour the granola mixture onto a well-greased sheet tray and spread into an even layer.
- Bake at 325°F for 30-40 minutes or until the oats are golden brown and toasted.
- Once it has finished baking, let the granola cool at room temperature for at least an hour. It will crisp up as it cools.
- Once the mixture has fully cooled, you can add your favorite add-in and mix to combine. Enjoy!
Granola can be stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dry spot for six months (sometimes longer). You can also freeze granola and granola bars just as you would cookies or other treats -- wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and/or in a resealable freezer bag.
NOTE: Midway through baking, press down on the granola slightly with the back of an offset spatula. This will help a bit with clustering, though this recipe isn't meant to cluster much. (this step is optional).