Making Your Own Granola

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  But for most people, in order to fit into their schedule, it has to be something quick and easy.

Cereal is a popular option, but it’s usually outrageously priced and often crammed full of sugar.  Save yourself money by making this easy, healthy granola!

You will need:

*  Oven
*  Microwave
*  Cookie sheet
*  Microwave-safe bowl
*  Large mixing bowl
*  Spoon
*  Parchment paper
*  4 cups rolled oats (NOT instant/quick oats!)
*  2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
*  2 cups raisins
*  1 cup brown sugar (unpacked)
*  1/3 cup water
*  1 tsp vanilla extract
*  Cinnamon

1.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

2.  In a microwave-safe container, combine brown sugar and water.  Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, or until sugar is completely dissolved.  Add the vanilla extract.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, combine oats and nuts.  Stir in sugar mixture until the oats and nuts are completely coated.  Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.

4.  Place parchment paper over the cookie sheet.  Spread the mixture over the parchment paper in as thin and even a layer as possible.  (I prefer to use a cookie sheet that has a lip on it because it is easier to spread the oats onto without losing any over the sides!)  Place in preheated oven and bake for one hour.

5. After the baked granola has completely cooled, use the back of a spoon to break it into smaller chunks.  Return to mixing bowl and add raisins; Stir until the raisins are distributed evenly.

6.  Store your granola in an airtight container for up to a month.  Try it with milk, yogurt, or fruit!

Use this basic recipe to create any number of personalized breakfast cereals.  If you don’t care for raisins (I think they are gross), you can easily substute them for other dried fruits.  Look for a lot of good options in the bulk foods section of the grocery store.  The same goes for the nuts; you can replace them with a kind you like better, or if you are allergic or just don’t like nuts, you can leave them out altogether.  If you omit any of the dry ingredients from the recipe, you may want to replace them with a larger amount of another ingredient, such as leaving out the nuts and adding more oats instead, to keept he ratios correct with the wet ingredients.


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