Homemade Granola

I haven’t slept much and my body hurts. I ran 12 miles the last two days. I seriously deserve a good breakfast but what do you do when you have agreed to go out to breakfast and your accomplice is sleeping. Nothing, you just blog and completely disregard all stomach pangs and gurgling. If I had any  Granola left I would just eat a little… without yogurt… and call it a pre-morning snack before the storm. Yes, that would be positively delightful. 
I gave away my last jar of ‘delightful goodness’ at the Packer Game on Thursday; Thus, I will simply day dream about what my life could be. You see this granola is special; It’s not from a box, a store, or a restaurant. It’s from the heart and soul of my own kitchen. Commercial granolas have so much added sugar and fat it’s amazing they can get away with calling it, ‘healthy’. Actually, so many things get away with calling themselves ‘healthy’, but that’s a story for another day. Back to Granola… these commercial granolas, you know, the ones you buy out of the bins at whole foods, a box that says ‘organic’, or order from IHOP… I’ll bet you ten dollars that they are the same color as your creamy colored couch. Where is the COLOR!!! Where is the FLAVOR!!!
Oats, have a natural sweetness. Which means you don’t need a lot of added sugar to bring out that sweetness. All you need is a bit of serious toasting. Allow your oats to BROWN in the oven. Brown means flavor… let’s remember this… in all things (including that white bread thats sitting on the counter). 
I promise, Once you go Homemade you won’t go back to Boxed. This is my Mother’s Granola recipe. Change it up however you prefer. You can add any sort of dried fruit you like, zest, nuts, different types of sugars (not too much), whatever flavors you really love. However, if you’re adding dried fruit i strongly suggest you wait until after it comes out of the oven. Otherwise, you will end up with candied fruit and possible broken tooth instead of a sweet surprise. This is my favorite recipe and combo of them all… serve it alone, with Milk, or greek yogurt. 
For the Granola
 Add first seven ingredients to a bowl
 Mix thoroughly till combined
Lay Granola Flat on Cookie Sheet and bake for 30-40 Minutes

Homemade Granola
Makes about 5 cups

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsweetned shredded coconut
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt (be generous)
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
(1 cup dried fruit or chocolate chips)

I like, 
1/2 cup golden or black raisins
1/4 cup craisins
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment. Mix first 7 ingredients in a larrge bowl. Stir honey and oil in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Pour honey mixture over oats and toss. Spread on baking sheet. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes. About 30-40 minutes. Allow granola to cool. mix in dried fruit. 

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