"Mom... can you make granola?? And when you pack my lunch tomorrow can you pack a little bag for Ellie too? She's been asking for it."
Music to my ears. I love then the kids ask for something healthy when they don't even know it's healthy. And better yet, I'm getting special requests from high school girlfriends.
Years ago the kids turned up their noses at the thought of granola, but with a little tweaking they've discovered a new love.
Always working to get "healthy stuff" into the kids, granola makes it easy. Starting with fiber-rich oats (gluten-free if desired) we add flax and hemp. Maple syrup brings sweetness and a depth to the mix, and nuts and dried fruit more protein as well as additional vitamins. A touch of coconut oil give the concoction that much desired crunch and shredded coconut even adds a little touch of the tropics.
So easy to mix together and versatile to your tastes, give it a go and maybe you'll have special requests too.
Maple Granola with Coconut and Cinnamon
Filled with all sorts of "healthy stuff", this granola tastes so good no one will know. Crunchy, just the right amount of sweetness and perfect for an afternoon snack, granola is just as good on the road as it is at home. I love mine topped with raspberries and with a little vanilla almond milk. Mid-morning pick me up!
3 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)
1/3 cup ground flax meal
1/4 cup hemp seed
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs melted coconut oil (we like Nutiva Organic)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (we like macadamia and almond)
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit - optional (we like raisins, goji berries and cranberries)
3 Tbs shredded, unsweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350º.
Measure oatmeal, flax, hemp, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Whisk to combine.
Melt the coconut oil if solid and set aside. In a medium bowl, add the egg white, vanilla, maple syrup and brown sugar. Whisk to combine. Add the coconut oil and whisk again.
Add the maple mixture to the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Pour the granola onto a jelly roll pan and spread evenly. Place into the preheated oven.
Stir the granola after 15 minutes, making sure to incorporate the edges into the center (the edges will brown faster) of the mixture. Check and stir again after another 7 minutes or so. At this point our granola needed another 4 minutes to become perfectly browned (a total of about 25 minutes). Keep an eye on yours as it can go from nicely browned to perfectly burnt in a flash!
Remove granola from oven when nicely browned and immediately add the dried fruits, coconut and nuts. Give a little stir and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container. I've read that homemade granola will last up to 2 weeks, but ours never stays around that long. Enjoy!
Liv Life Note: Play with the nuts and fruits to find your favorite concoction! Liv doesn't really like fruit in her granola, just the oat mixture and nuts. Add and remove what works for you.