So, to be honest I’m not a huge fan of oatmeal… or so I thought. I only had instant oatmeal that you microwave for 2 minutes. Although it’s pretty filling and nutritious breakfast, I don’t usually look forward to it.
A few weeks ago, when I was in San Antonio, TX for work, I had a breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Since I was going to have a long day ahead and little time to eat, I decided to go with granola cereal. To my surprise, it was deliciously crunchy and flavorful bowl of yumminess. Forgive me if I sound like a crazy lady describing basic granola breakfast as if it’s the best thing in the world. To me it was a nice discovery, as I always look for easy, yet nutritious breakfast ideas for busy mornings. And as a Mongolian, I was not raised having granola with yogurt, or cereal, or any granola for that matter. 🙂
Anyhow, I really wanted to make some granola at home and while researching the recipes, I learned it’s so much more than just rolled oats. You can add any nuts, dried fruits, whatever your heart desires to make your perfect granola mix. First time, I made a batch of granola; it was gone in 3 days. My fiancée and I had it for breakfast, with yogurt, or just plain.
I’m sure I will be experimenting different flavored granola mixes in the future, but today I wanted to share with you my basic granola recipe. This is pretty filling and healthy version with lots of nuts. You can definitely substitute pecans with walnuts, or leave out pine nuts. However, personally I think that pine nuts add this amazing nutty flavor that I can’t leave out.
It is very easy to make granola. Here is step by step instructions:
Voila! I had some dehydrated strawberries on hand. It was a great addition.
- 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup dried cherries (or raisins, or dried cherries)
- Pre-heat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Coarsely chop the pecans. In a large bowl, mix together oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, pine nuts.
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, honey, coconut oil, pure vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Add honey mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Spread the mixture on 2 baking sheets in thin layer. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes with a spatula. Add dried cherries, or raisins and cool completely before storing in a sealed container.
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