This granola is absolutely the best I've ever tried! Don't you love when amazingly delicious and addictive food is also good for you too? You won't believe how quick and easy it is to whip up a huge batch that will have your whole house smelling heavenly and your tastebuds smiling. The best thing about granola is that it's totally customizable to whatever nuts, seeds, dried fruits, spices, or other add-ins you love - so feel free to mix things up and substitute ingredients with what you have on hand or what your personal preferences are! Enjoy this granola on it's own dry or with milk, or use it to top smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal for some added crunch and flavour.
2 and 1/2 cups rolled oats - I used Old Fashioned Large Flake oats
1 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raisins
2 Tbsp. ground flax
2 Tbsp. sweetened coconut flakes
1 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsp. brown rice syrup
1 Tbsp. agave nectar
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce
2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
*Substitutions Note: If you don't have coconut oil you can substitute it with canola, vegetable, or any other light-tasting oil. If you don't have brown rice syrup or agave nectar then you can substitute both with other liquid sweeteners. Substitute the brown rice syrup with either 3 Tbsp. liquid honey or 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup and the agave with 1 Tbsp. liquid honey or 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown rice syrup, agave, coconut oil, vanilla, applesauce, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a very large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas, flax, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. You may need to separate this into two separate batches if you don't have a large enough bowl.
Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir well with a large spoon or spatula. Do not try to mix by hand because the wet mixture will be hot! Keep stirring until everything is evenly coated.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a very large baking pan with parchment paper. If you don't have one very large pan then separate the granola onto two pans to ensure even baking. Evenly spread the granola mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven every 15 minutes and stir the granola around very well with a large spoon or spatula. This will ensure that the granola on the edges of the pan won't get too crispy while the granola in the centre doesn't get baked enough.
Fresh out of the oven - golden and smelling amazing!
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20-25 minutes on the pan before serving or packaging for storing. The granola might not be super crispy or hard immediately after you take it out of the oven, but it will harden up as it cools. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. You could also store in an airtight container in the freezer for probably 3-4 months.
Threw a handful of freshly made granola on top of cooked oat bran blended with a banana and almond milk.. perfection :)
*Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows