No need to hand over your hard-earned money to the large food manufacturers that attempt to convince you (through massive amounts of advertising) that froot loops and fruity pebbles are part of a well-balanced breakfast. Instead, with just a few ingredients, you can make your own, much healthier and tastier (in my opinion), breakfast cereal in a snap — minus the artificial colorings and flavorings.
What I love most about this granola is the honey (no high-fructose corn syrup [HFCS] here). I love those commercials sponsored by the Corn Refiner’s Association telling you that HFCS is no different than other sweeteners. While biochemically our bodies may processes honey, sugar, or HFCS in a similar manner, my taste buds can clearly distinguish a difference. Good quality honey has a complex flavor that HFCS will never approach. That being said, I am a big fan of buckwheat honey. Buckwheat honey is made when bees collect pollen and nectar from the pink flowers of the buckwheat plant. This honey is very dark in color, almost purplish, and has a strong, malty component with hints of molasses and chocolate. It also tastes great simply poured over yogurt or vanilla ice cream (yum!).
The spoon on top is buckwheat honey,and the spoon on the bottom is a good quality Greek meli (Greek for honey). You can really notice the difference in color between the two.
4 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (pecans, almonds)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buckwheat honey
1/2 cup dried fruit (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, wheat germ, and salt. Add the oil and honey and mix well. Distribute the granola onto two baking sheets. Bake in the oven (upper and middle racks) for about 40 minutes, mixing the granola and rotating the trays every 10 minutes or so, until golden brown. Remove from the oven, mix in the dried fruit (if using), and spread out evenly, and allow to cool.
Note: The key to forming large granola clusters is to allow the granola to cool COMPLETELY before removing from the baking sheets. While still warm, gently press down on the granola (with the back of a baking sheet), to help it clump together.
I ♥ Granola