I really love the sweet crunchy style granola but when I make granola at home it feels counterproductive to add so much oil and sugar (to something that to me is supposed to be healthy) so I opt for granola recipes like this one. And this one was good - though I wouldn't add the crystallized ginger next time. I like ginger but don't love it in sweet things. I mistakenly added the dried fruit too early (instead of stirring it in at the very end) but it wasn't all bad because it made the dried apples wonderfully crunchy. I saw this chocolate chocolate chunk granola at Whole Foods not too long ago... I really must make an exception to my "healthy granola" rule and try making that one!
Some people have asked where I got the cup from - it was a gift many years ago and I have no idea where my friend got it from! It has Totoro on the other side though.
Other healthy snacks:
Sunny Jungle Bars
No Fail Granola
Applesauce-Oat Bran Muffins
Low-Fat Winter Fruit Granola
Adapted from The Best Life Diet Cookbook found on Ezra Pound Cake
You can easily replace the almonds with another nut, the dried fruit with whatever other dried fruit you want, and omit the ginger. I didn't use almond extract - just vanilla.
Makes 24 1/4-cup servings
4 cups regular rolled oats
1/4 cup unprocessed wheat bran
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped dried pears or apples
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dates
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Combine the oats and bran in a large bowl.
In a small pan over medium heat, stir in the canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla and almond extracts. When the mixture begins to bubble, pour it over the oat mixture and mix well.
Pour it onto a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Add the almonds and stir the mixture thoroughly. Continue to bake until the oats and almonds are lightly toasted, about 10 minutes more, stirring again halfway through.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Bake until the oats are crisp, about 5 minutes longer.
Remove the pan from the oven and stir the mixture. Let the granola cool for 5 minutes, the stir again.
When completely cool, store the granola in an air-tight container for up to 4 weeks.