Are you still buying store bought granola? Why?? I know, I know, I hear you, because it’s easy.

I promise you that once you make this homemade granola and taste how delicious it is, it will be hard for you to have store bought again🙂 Seriously, not only does it taste amazing, but your house will smell so warm and fragrant while it’s baking.

Granola isn’t hard to make, but you do have to watch it while it bakes so that it doesn’t burn. And the thing about it is that you can change up the nuts, seeds and dried fruit to whatever combination you like. Tamara only likes pumpkin and sunflower seeds, so I use that with a combination of dried apricots, cranberries and coconut when I make hers. Mmmmmmmmm so yummy!

On another note, I hate to be the bearer of bad news and it’s not that granola isn’t healthy, BUT be mindful of how much you eat. A portion is 2- 4 tablespoons, not a half, not a whole and certainly not the whole container whenever you eat it, no matter how good it is!

If you’re looking to make some homemade gifts for the holidays, this looks great in a mason jar with some ribbon tied around!

I’d love to hear from you ! Have you ever made your own granola?
Please feel free to share your ideas and tips in the comments below:)

Homemade Granola
Yields: approx. 6 cups – a serving size is 2 – 4 tablespoons

Ingredients:
4 cups large flakes rolled oats (I mix the medium and large ones together)
• 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped nuts and seeds (any combination of almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, etc.)
• 1/2 cup apple juice (no one drinks apple juice, so I buy the small juice boxes)
• 1/2 cup maple syrup
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 tbs. vanilla extract
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• A pinch of ground cloves
• 1 tsp. fine sea salt
• 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit (You can use any combination of your favorites! Simply add the mixed dried fruit at the end, when the granola is taken out of the oven)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the oats with the chopped nuts and seeds. I used 1/2 cup each of chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds and chopped almonds.
3. In a small saucepan, combine the apple juice, maple syrup, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt. Heat on low and use a whisk to stir the ingredients together. When warm and everything is combined, remove from heat. Pour the mixture over the oats and nuts and stir until well combined.
4. Spread the mixture in a single layer over the lined baking sheet. Make sure that it is just one layer — if there is too much piled onto the baking sheet, the granola won’t be able to get crunchy.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 12-15 minutes to make sure it all browns evenly. When the granola is an even golden brown, remove from the oven and add any the dried fruit at this time. I use dried cranberries, apricots and coconut. Stir to combine and let cool before storing it in an airtight container.

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