The cereal aisle is one of the greatest feats of industrialized food: those unnatural shapes and colors, marshmallows and whatever a Crunchberry is…they all come out of a factory, far removed from their original state and in many cases, overloaded with artificial colors and flavors, corn syrup and genetically modified ingredients. So, perhaps you’ve traded in your Lucky Charms for more natural cereals found at your local health-minded store. But even those can contain some questionable ingredients, and what’s worse—they’re not cheap, either.
One of my favorites has long been granola—with healthy and recognizable ingredients—it’s tasty and filling. But what always disturbed me about granola was the price—many can be $7 or more for a small box—and, of course, the waste. Those expensive little boxes can be empty in a matter of days (or if my boyfriend’s been gardening all morning, minutes).
Thank goodness making granola is actually really easy. Like, really easy. I make giant batches that can actually last weeks in our house. This recipe is one of my favorites and uses superfoods including coconut oil, chia seeds and Peruvian maca root—an energizing and balancing tuber that grows at a higher altitude than any other food on earth.
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- ½ cup Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (melted) (Can be substituted with Nutiva Coconut Manna)
- ¼ cup Brown rice syrup
- ¼ cup Maple syrup (grade B)
- 2 cups Rolled Oats
- ½ cup Almonds (sliced)
- ½ cup Pumpkin seeds (raw)
- ¼ cup Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds
- ¼ cup Raisins (or dried fruit of your choice)
- ¼ cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut (optional)
- 3 tbsp Maca root powder
- ½ Vanilla Bean (Scrape the inside of the bean into the mixture; you can also chop the bean up small after you scrape it and add to the mix or use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- ½ tsp Cinnamon (ground)
- ½ tsp Nutmeg (ground)
- pinch Sea Salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large baking tray or line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together oil, syrups, maca root, vanilla and spices until blended. Add in oats, nuts and seeds and mix until well coated (you can add coconut flakes too if you like them toasted). It's okay if some of the oats clump together—these will make nice clusters common in granola.
- Spread the mixture onto your baking pan as evenly as you can. The less even you spread it, the more likely it will be for some areas to burn while others aren't done, so do your best!
- Bake 20-30 minutes or until it starts to brown lightly. Carefully "stir" the mixture once during the baking if you can, as well.
- When done, remove from oven and let cool. In a large bowl, mix your dried fruits and coconut flakes. Add cooled oat mixture to the fruits and mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container. Serve with nondairy milk and your favorite fresh fruit. Enjoy!