Note the shirt - told you we run, but indulge!
It's no secret that my husband and I work out and run a lot. Like a lot a lot. We do many road races together, but we also like to indulge together! After all, I'm still Italian and Irish! However, the hubs has been very good about having us cut out processed foods and unhealthy eats during the week. In fact, he has been so good, that after watching an episode of America's Test Kitchen, he was inspired to make his own granola!
Granola is great in yogurt, oatmeal, cereals, and just on its own... BUT, it can be so expensive! Not only does it cost, but it's usually packed with a lot of unnecessary crap. Granted, homemade or not, you should never be eating bagfuls of granola in one sitting, but making it on your own ensures that you are a.) putting something better into your body and b.) saving money! Now who doesn't want to save a little cash?
Oh, and this recipe makes a BOATLOAD of granola, so you will have plenty to last you for a couple of weeks!
Homemade Granola (Adapted from America's Test Kitchen)
-1/3 cup maple syrup (can use honey, but the maple is actually better ironically, and it's a small amount)
-1/3 cup light brown sugar
-4 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-5 cups old fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant/quick oats)
-2 cups raw almonds, slivered
-1 cup of a seed, like pumpkin seeds (we use these - yum)
-1 to 2 cups of a dried fruit of your choice
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To help the parchment paper stay down, you can grease the pan and then place the parchment on top. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the syrup, brown sugar, extract, and salt. Then whisk in the vegetable oil. Fold in the oats, almonds, and pumpkin seeds (if using), until all of the oats and nuts are coated.
Spread the oat mixture out evenly in a thin layer on the parchment lined baking pan. Using a spatula, press the mixture down firmly to help "pack" it all into place on the pan. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown, and make sure to rotate the pan halfway through cooking. Let cook on a wire rack for an hour.