I try to keep my snacks on the healthy side. Occasionally I'll have something like Nutella with graham crackers, but usually, I'll have fruit, string cheese, cheese and crackers, or yogurt. Yogurt is by far my favorite snack. It's so versatile and I change it up based on what I'm in the mood for. I don't like to eat it plain, so I might chop up strawberries or bananas, add a drizzle of honey, or pour in granola. I LOVE granola. My favorite mixes to buy are Nature's Best pumpkin granola or Love Crunch. I love the dark chocolate chunks and dried raspberries.
Recently I wanted to try making my own granola. I have in the past, but I didn't like it as much as my store bought brands. However, this granola does the trick. Cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract is in this recipe and I love the hint of cinnamon in the background. As it roasts in the oven, your kitchen will smell heavenly. The nuts are added at the very end just to toast them and enhance their flavor. Have you tried toasted hazelnuts or almonds before? They are SO good.
I added dried cranberries to mine, but you can add whatever you like. Raisins, cherries, dried blueberries or bananas. Whatever you have on hand!
Source: slightly adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
Servings: 1 pound
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup whole hazelnuts
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until completely combined. Pour the honey mixture over the oats and use to hands to combine.
Using your hands, grab fistfuls of the mixture, so you'll have a couple of clumps for texture. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it out, leaving a few clumps here and there.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven to flip the granola with a spatula. Sprinkle the almonds over the granola and return to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven again and flip. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the granola. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Sprinkle the cranberries over the granola and use your hands to transfer it to an airtight container. Granola will keep for 1 week.