Thursday, August 29, 2013

Healthy Homemade Vegan Granola

  • Healthy Homemade Vegan Granola
    If you walk into any breakfast aisle, health food store, or bulk food section what do you find? If you answered granola (I think I gave it away already...oops) you would be correct! But what is one major complaint about granola though? Well if you answered, its EXPENSIVE...well than you are on a roll, tell'um what they won Johnny! But another complaint is they are all a little deceiving. We all think granola and we usually think healthy right, you would be incorrect. Well if you have been fooled before, you know not all granola's are created equal. They are either too much sugar and/or salt, not enough fiber, contain animal based add ins, no real vitamins, and lastly and my most important...they don't give you much for the cost. If I want to buy this stuff, I want a good amount but most cases you don't get all the much needed wants in your store bought granola.

    *Light Bulb*

    Why not make your own? Its not hard at all and that way you can control everything you want in your granola, customize it, and get a big amount. This recipe shows you how to simply make your own customizeable granola. Whether you want the vitamins, high protein, low sugar, high fiber, and/or low in calories you are going to get it in this granola. Packed full of everything you are looking for in a great granola but without that pricey store bought tag and enough to last. You are sure to never want to buy it again. Serve this granola however you like, perfect by itself or put over vegan yogurt. Pairs great with fresh fruit and makes a great gift for someone you love. Anyway you decide to make it or use it, you will feel a lot better about making it rather than buying it ever again. Enjoy!

    Ingredients

    3 cups organic old-fashioned oats
    2 cups whole nuts (such as unsalted almonds, raw cashews, pistachios, pecans, or walnuts) 
    1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut 
    1/2 to 1 cup whole dried dates
    1/2 cup maple, agave, brown rice, etc. (your favorite)
    1/4 to 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
    1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
    2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds (powdered)
    2 Tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
    1 teaspoons kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Directions

    Heat oven to 300 Degrees. 

    In a food processor, pulse to chunk your 2 cups of nuts (I used cashews & almonds) down to desired texture. Once your nuts are processed, remove from machine and add in whole dates to process as well.

    *If you do not want to process the ingredients, you can buy sliced nuts and minced dried dates from the store. 


    In a large bowl, put in the oats. 


    Then put in your remaining dry ingredients, including the nuts and dates. 


    Once everything is Combine in a large bowl; toss to combine. Then add in your wet ingredients like the oil, vanilla, and liquid sweeteners.



    Once every piece has been tossed and coated, spread out on a rimmed baking sheet evenly.



  • Bake granola, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and dry, 40 to 45 minutes. You will be able to smell its sweet aroma, you don't want to smell burnt. Your nose tells you a lot in this situation. When its done, remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet (it will crisp as it cools).

  • Once its cooled and crisp, you can mix in 1 cup dried cherries, raisins, and/or cranberries. You can also add in vegan chocolate chips or anything else you would enjoy in this granola. Store in an airtight at room temperature. Serve the granola by itself of for a protein boost, serve over vegan yogurt. Pairs with plenty of fruits and great as a in between snack. You can't go wrong with this sweet and crunchy treat. Enjoy!


    -Amy