Happy November…can you believe it’s November? I know that November follows October, but seeing November 1 as the date on my phone yesterday was still shocking…I immediately started thinking about how close Christmas is! Time really flies. Another example of time flying was today when I went to my blog and realized that I haven’t posted anything in TWO MONTHS! What? How could that be? It seems like I just posted yesterday….Luckily, I know what the problem is. I need a blog fairy. Someone, ‘some fairy’ to be exact, that can come visit my house once a week…take notes as I am cooking, take pictures, edit them, and then type the posts as I dictate. That would be great. Feel free to message me if you’d like to volunteer. Joking aside, I like posting–it’s just that other responsibilities get in the way and at this point I have to prioritize. I’m not allowing myself to feel ‘guilty’ for not posting. I give myself permission to do it when I get around to it, but I don’t add it to my ‘to do’ list. That way it’s enjoyable when I can do it and I don’t have to feel like I’m ‘just crossing something off of my list.’ That said, I’ve wanted to post this recipe for a while. When we changed our diet over two years ago one thing I found VERY frustrating was that it was impossible to find affordable granola that was also low sugar. Next time you are shopping for granola check out the back of the package. Granola, in general, has a TON of added sugar. Not welcome in our home. I tried to few recipes and then modified one to suit our needs. This refined sugar free granola recipe is the result!
When shopping for ingredients for this granola, I do not purchase organic nuts. Mostly because organic nuts are very expensive–well, let’s be honest…nuts in general are expensive. Nuts are safer than most conventional food items, so I feel fine making this granola with conventional nuts. I DO purchase raw nuts. Raw nuts have more beneficial nutrients than pre-cooked nuts…and I plan to roast them a bit anyway to make this granola. Other than the nuts, the rest of the items I do specifically purchase organic: oats, cinnamon, coconut oil, apricots (optional), and honey. Everything pictured above is from Trader Joes-except the coconut oil, sea salt, and cinnamon. You can buy organic coconut oil from Trader Joes (they are just sometimes out of it)…it’s the same price at Whole Foods (just FYI). I buy organic cinnamon from Earth Fare (bulk spice area) and refill my cinnamon container. Check out this post for more details about that! This granola is REALLY easy to make, stores well, and is a filling and healthy snack! We use it in cereal, yogurt, with fruit…the options are endless. David and Wells love it. David’s brother John is a huge fan too!
First, place all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together. This includes: oats, all of your nuts and seeds, salt, cinnamon, and that’s it. Next, mix all of your wet ingredients together. You will need to heat the coconut oil to liquefy it. It doesn’t take long…about 30 seconds in the microwave. Add the almond butter, vanilla, and honey to the coconut oil. I like to use a fork and/or a small wire wisk to mix the coconut oil with the other ingredients.
Next, pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and toss together. Using two spoons to toss the mixture (like tossing a salad) works well! Make sure you coat all of the dry ingredients!
Next, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. If you haven’t ever used parchment paper you will want to hug me for this tip! I buy the unbleached parchment from Whole Foods. I don’t like the idea of our food cooking on paper that has been bleached with chlorine. It’s not expensive and saves A TON of time. You won’t have to wash the pans…at most you’ll just need to wipe them down. It’s a huge time saver. Bake the granola for 10 minutes on 350, stir, and then bake for an additional 10 minutes. The granola should be golden brown on the edges when you are done. Do NOT overbake…you don’t want your granola to taste ‘charred.’ Tip: Be careful–nuts can get overdone REALLY quickly. If you stir it after 10 minutes and set a timer for 10 more you should be good. It has worked for me….and I’ve made this a TON!
This is what it looks like when it’s done! Let it cool completely. Some of the nuts will be chewy until they are fully cooled. After they are cooled, they will be crispier.
This is a GREAT snack. Here are a few serving suggestions:
- Serve with almond milk/milk as cereal (or serve with cereal)
- Serve with chopped organic apricots (I cut them with scissors) they are lower sugar than raisins or cranberries (but those are good additions too)!
- Serve with yogurt
- Eat plain (this is my preferred way)–I eat it with a spoon!
You can store this covered for at least a week. We’ve never had any left past a week–so I don’t know how long it keeps, exactly! I store it in a glass dish with a lid on the counter. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. Feel free to experiment with your favorite nuts/seeds. Note: I would NOT use pistachios. I tried it and they tasted charred. We don’t eat peanuts if we can help it–other nuts are just so much healthier. Actually, peanuts are legumes, not nuts…almonds are a healthier option. More on that later. Anyway, leave me a comment if you try it. Post any questions you have or suggestions! I enjoy hearing from people who are reading my posts! Happy November. I’m going to really focus on my blessings this November-will you join me?
This granola is delicious, refined sugar free, healthy, and makes a great snack!
- 5 cups organic old fashioned oats
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup raw pecan pieces
- 3/4 t salt (I use celtic sea salt)
- 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup almond butter (I use creamy)
- 1/4 cup organic honey (I use raw)
- 3/4 t vanilla
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- Organic apricots, chopped (optional)
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
- Mix the oats, seeds, nuts, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
- Heat the coconut oil until it liquefies.
- Mix the almond butter, honey, and vanilla in with the coconut oil. Use a wisk or fork if needed.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients.
- Toss together like you're tossing a salad.
- Spread (in a single layer) on a parchment paper line baking pan (or two).
- Bake for 10 minutes, stir, then bake for 10 more minutes.
- The mixture is done when the edges are golden brown.
- Be careful not to over bake or the nuts will taste charred.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely.
- Toss in chopped apricots (if desired).
- Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from 'Joy the Baker' homemade granola.