Homemade Vanilla Almond Granola
Recently a friend of ours gave us a quart of honey that he got from his first attempt at raising honey bees. It is thick and sweet and delicious, and we were excited that he gave us some. A quart of honey is a lot, though, so I started pondering what I could use it for. My first thought was granola as learning how to make my own granola has been a goal of mine for a long time. In a lot of granola recipes, honey is used as the sweetener so this was perfect.
Granola is really easy to make. If I had known that, I would have made it a long time ago. Basically, for this recipe, you mix the whole oats and sliced almonds together. Then you heat up the honey and oil until the honey melts, add in the vanilla, pour it over the oat mixture and stir. After that you spread the mixture out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and bake it. In minutes you have a wholesome, delicious, and quick breakfast or snack with no additives or preservatives. It also travels well so would be perfect to take on vacation or camping.
I doubled the vanilla in this recipe so it has a lot of vanilla flavor. My daughter thought I was making cookies when she smelled it in the oven. This granola is a great combination of crunchy and sticky which makes for a lot of those yummy clumps of grains which are so satisfying.
I have tried a couple different recipes, and this one is my favorite so far. The fun thing about granola is that it is so customizable to what your family likes. Once you have the basic recipe down, you can add in whatever extras you enjoy. Mostly I like it just plain, but a lot of my family likes Craisins, so for this batch, I added those. (I just pick out the Craisins, and then there is a bigger Craisin to granola ratio for everyone else – I am very
selfish thoughtful that way). You could add dried blueberries, or cherries, or mini-chocolate chips just to name a few. If I used chocolate chips, I wouldn’t be picking those out, though. In fact, I think the chocolate chip to granola ratio would go down considerably if I got a hold of it first. I cannot be trusted around chocolate or ice cream or sweets of any kind. It is one of my worst traits. By the way, have you heard of the New Lucky Charms cereal box that has all marshmallows? Can you still call it cereal if all there is are marshmallows? And, do you think it would be wrong if I added Lucky Charms marshmallows to my granola? All I know is, I want a box of that “cereal”.
I can’t believe I am talking about Lucky Charms in my healthy granola post. But that is so me in a nutshell. Mostly eating healthy, but my desire for sweet treats getting in the way at times. My favorite way to eat granola is on top of yogurt or just grab a handful for a quick breakfast when I am in a hurry in the morning. I am thinking it is better for you than a bowl full of marshmallows. Good thing I haven’t figured out where to get that cereal yet!:)
Vanilla Almond Granola
- 2 c rolled oats (not the quick oats)
- 1 c sliced almonds
- 1/4 c canola oil
- 1/4 c honey
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- add-ins such as Craisins, chocolate chips, dried blueberries, etc. (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line an 11×15 jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together oats and almonds.
- In a medium saucepan add oil, honey, and a dash of salt. Heat on medium low until honey is melted, and little bubbles are around the edges, stirring constantly. When melted and bubbling around edges, take pan off of the heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour liquid mixture over oat mixture and stir until well coated.
- Spread evenly onto parchment lined pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes, and stir. Then bake another 5 minutes or until granola is lightly browned. Watch carefully as it browns quickly.
- Let cool until crisp.
- Stir in your add-ins (optional).
- Store in a sealed container at room temperature.
Recipe from Cook AZ I Do