Fruit and Nut Granola

For breakfast, I am typically an oatmeal girl. Give me a container of oats, applesauce and cinnamon, and I am a happy girl. Better yet if I can add some sliced bananas on top. The hubbs, not so much. He really is not a picky guy, but oatmeal is not his thing. He tells me it’s a texture issue more than anything.

Since he’s not as happy with that container of dry oats as I am, I am constantly on the lookout for quick, homemade breakfast ideas for him. If my description of my oatmeal above tells you one thing, mornings and I are not the best of friends. If it is going to take me longer than 5 minutes to make in the morning, I am not going to have time to do it, making eggs and really anything that needs to be cooked out of the question.

Enter homemade granola. Something that can be made at home, can be made ahead of time to be a quick meal in the morning, and something that he enjoys. Sounds like it meets all the requirements! 

Granola is something that I have actually made before. I have a great pumpkin granola recipe that I make again and again throughout the fall, but I really wanted to find a recipe that was less seasonal and more universal. In looking through the recipes that I have saved from other blogs, I realized I have had this recipe from Natalie at Oven Love saved for almost a year. Her description of the granola sounded great – full of chunks, low in oil/butter, and using nuts and flaxseed to boost the nutritional value. One note on the flaxseeds – if you want to get the nutritional benefits, they need to be ground. Overall, I am happy to report that this recipe was a hit. Now if I can just keep up with making it! Enjoy!
(Printable Recipe)

Fruit and Nut Granola
Adapted from Oven Love (originally from Chocolate and Carrots and Gourmande in the Kitchen)

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
2-1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1-1/2 cups puffed rice/wheat cereal
2-3 Tbsp. ground flaxseed 

1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups mix of nuts, chopped
1 cup dried fruit (mix of raisins and cranberries, or whatever you’d like)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 large, flat baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, combine oats, puffed cereal, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce, honey, brown sugar, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. 

Pour the granola on the baking sheets, splitting evenly between the two sheets. With your hands, squeeze or pinch the oats together into small/medium clumps leaving space on the baking sheet between the clumps. Bake for 20 minutes. 

While the granola is baking, chop the nuts and mix together in a small bowl. When the granola is finished baking, flip it with a large spatula and split the nuts between the baking pans. Bake for another 20-30 minutes, until completely dry and brown. Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheets. Once cool, add the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container.

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