I first discovered granola years ago on a family vacation when I had a chance to try muesli, a cousin of granola. Long popular in Europe, Swiss physician and nutritionist, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, first introduced muesli in the late 1800s. His philosophy revolved around eating a diet rich in raw grains, fruits and vegetables combined with daily exercise. (Hmm … still sounds like good advice to me!) Muesli consists of raw oats, grains, fruits, seeds and nuts mixed with milk, yogurt or juice. The primary difference is that muesli is not baked in the oven before serving. Instead, it soaks in the milk or other liquid and is served either hot or cold.
Unlike muesli, granola includes a honey/oil blend to bind the oats and other ingredients together while it bakes in the oven. It’s these clusters of toasted oats and honey that make my mouth water. Now I’m the first to admit that some commercially processed granola is truly delicious. However, this recipe is incredibly easy to make and just as tasty. Plus, if you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake, this recipe only has about 2 tablespoons of honey. Numerous granola varieties available at the grocery store and specialty stores are higher in sugar and, let’s face it, expensive!
The recipe below uses all the ingredients my family enjoys … oats, walnuts, almonds, coconut and more. However, feel free to add or subtract what works for your family. One of things I like most about this recipe is that it’s customizable it to our family’s preference. One kid doesn’t like raisins in anything; the other will eat them straight out of the container. I love it when I can easily accommodate everyone!
Granola is also incredibly versatile. I eat it almost every day with fresh fruit and milk. It also tastes awesome with plain Greek yogurt and a small drizzle of honey. My kids like it straight out of the container.
To make the granola, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients except the raisins and mix well. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir and continue to bake for 3-minute intervals until golden brown. Let cool before transferring to an air-tight container. It will last up to 2 weeks when properly stored.
- 4 to 5 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 T raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup raw, unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 to 3 T honey
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine everything except the raisins in a large bowl. Mix well and place on a large baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Stir.
- Continue baking for 3-minute intervals until it's toasted to your liking. Cool.
- Stir in raisins.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.