Breakfast · Snacks

Granola

I went home last weekend to celebrate my niece’s first birthday and it was such a fun and relaxing weekend. It was full of family, friends, and summertime fun. The long weekend ended way too soon. Oklahoma, don’t ever change. IMG_3122.jpgThey are the cutest and the birthday girl always lights up when her big cousin is around.      I love these girls so much my heart could burst.

I had every intention to make this granola last week so that I could take it on the plane with me. My obsession with granola has grown so strong that I couldn’t handle the thought of a 4 hour flight without it. The day before my trip I made a batch of granola and started packing. My entire apartment filled with a glorious aroma as it baked. I was literally giddy with excitement. I checked on the granola and stirred it around after about 10 minutes and it was looking good. Then my jank oven decided to do the unthinkable. When I checked on it again after only about 5 minutes the granola was burned. I wanted to cry and started contemplating my entire life in that moment. Okay, maybe that was a little dramatic but I was pretty sad about my burned granola. Luckily, the Newark airport saved the day and there was a smoothie place that serves peanut butter smoothies with granola by my gate. Crisis averted. IMG_3160Don’t worry, I didn’t give up all hope. After all, what is cooking without a few failed attempts? This time my granola didn’t burn and I didn’t have a mental breakdown. When baking your granola it is important to remember that the goal isn’t to bake it until it’s crispy. You just want to toast the granola to a golden brown. As the granola cools it will get harder.

I wanted to keep this granola simple and classic and that is just what I did. I have plenty of fun granola recipe ideas I want to test but I wanted to start with a simple one first. You can add anything you want to the granola to make it your own. The best part about granola is that the options are endless. Pecans, chocolate, almonds, dried berries, peanut butter, sesame seeds, raisins, coconut. Seriously, the options never end but I went with some dark chocolate. IMG_3174At school we are about to start a breakfast food course and I am probably a little too excited about it. I love going out for breakfast. Brunching is my favorite because great memories should always be made with a stack of fluffy pancakes in front of you. I looked ahead on our course schedule and we do make granola one day. I figured I should probably wait and blog about granola after an actual chef demonstrates how to do it but I just couldn’t wait that long. Maybe in a couple weeks I’ll have another post correcting all of my mistakes but for now this granola is pretty darn good and I’ll happily keep snacking on it and topping everything I eat with a sprinkle of granola. IMG_3166In this recipe, I used a cinnamon honey. I saw it at Target and knew it would be delicious in some granola (I’m not joking when I say granola is always on my mind). You can use regular honey and if you want a hint of cinnamon you can mix some in to the granola mix. The honey is called “Fit for a Queen Cinnamon Honey”. I have to buy a product when it says it’s fit for a queen. I actually asked my mom when I was younger how many people had to die before I became a princess. I was 100% serious and my mom made up some ridiculously large number like any good mom would. And I think that was when the phrase “so you’re saying there’s a chance” was invented. I’m still waiting on the call saying I’m next in line.

Granola IMG_3171

Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 chopped dark chocolate pieces
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300º F
  2. Add the oats to a large bowl
  3. Add coconut oil and honey to a microwavable bowl and heat in microwave for 30 seconds just to melt. Stir together and pour over the oats.
  4. Add the vanilla and a dash of salt. Stir to combine and coat all of the oats evenly. If your oat mixture is too dry add more oil or honey as needed.
  5. Spread the oat mixture on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in an even layer.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 10-20 minutes or until slightly toasted and golden brown. Stir the oats halfway through.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool to harden. The oats will be soft when they come out of the oven but will harden as they cool.
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