Your kids aren’t going to mistake homemade granola for Captain Crunch, but this is still an easy sell. It’s a fun one to make together; other than the chopping of the nuts, they can help with every step. It also tastes especially good when it’s fresh out of the oven. Serve it with nut milk or yogurt and fruit.
Store bought is a half-step away from candy. This recipe is just sweet enough. Most of the sweetness comes from the dried fruit added afterwards. If you have fresh fruit to use instead, by all means do so!
This is a pretty standard granola recipe that has been doctored to have much less sugar. Instead, dried fruit is used to provide the sweet, and salt gives a nice savory flavor. Check out the notes at the end of the recipe for some ideas to add variety.
Preheat oven to 300 F. Chop your nuts into small pieces. Take a moment to giggle over the last sentence. Mix the oats, nuts, coconut, oil, sugar, syrup, xylitol, cinnamon and salt in the large mixing bowl. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-45
minutes. Check frequently, scorched nuts are not desirable.
Remove pan from the oven when oats and nuts are slightly browned. Set on the counter and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Add 1/4 cup seeds, 1 cup of dried fruit and 1/4 cup hemp protein. Blend well and enjoy!
More than most other recipes, this one requires some explanation. It could easily be altered into many different recipes through altering some of the ingredients.
Oil-The oil that you choose will have a huge effect on the overall flavor of the granola. As the heat used is low, many different oils that aren't usually appropriate for cooking can be used. Some ideas would be nut oils or infused olive oils. Any oil could be used really, but sesame and coconut would also add a nice flavor.
Nuts- Use whatever kind you'd like. I like blending four different nuts at 1/2 cup each, but you can (and should) do it how you'd like. The only caution is that some nuts (like walnuts) will not respond well to heat and should be added after cooking.
Xylitol is a sweetener made from birch bark. I am normally very skeptical about sugar substitutes, but based on what I've seen in (abundant) research, xylitol looks to be safer and healthier than sugar. Don’t sub it 1 for 1 for sugar, but in most recipes swapping out 1/3 to 1/2 of sugar for xylitol doesn't seem to affect flavor.
Chia seeds and/or hemp seeds are in the recipe for nutrition only. They add no real flavor to speak of, but they are good sources of omega3 fatty acids As such, they should not be cooked.
Dried Fruit- Pick and choose as you'd like. They will scorch in the oven, so add them after cooking. Some ideas are: raisins, cherries, mango, ginger, apple, pear, or berries. If you have fresh fruit available, consider using that instead. Nutritionally speaking, dried fruit is only slightly better than candy, but as it is replacing sugar in the recipe, it still represents and improvement. If your blood sugar is a problem, you'll want to omit the dried fruit entirely.